Onsted, Michigan residents are noticing a lot of changes along Main Street, particularly around Johnnie’s Bar & Grill. This is namely due to a whirlwind of a man who is giving facelifts to towns all around Michigan. Johnnie DeAngelis has bought bars and buildings throughout the state in an attempt to revitalize small towns, create meaningful jobs, and stimulate the sluggish economy.
“A lot of small towns resist change, but if they don’t change, they are going to get a change they don’t want,” Johnnie said.
Johnnie bought Onsted Bar, then tore down the defunct Red and White grocery store. He renovated the space and added 1700 square feet, put in an addition, gorgeous pavilion, and outdoor patio to give locals good food, entertainment, and a place to gather.
He isn’t done.
He has plans to reface the building to match the new brick, put in an outdoor, roadside seating area for folks to watch local parades, a new sign, and awning. He created space to bring in the pizza ovens from Johnnie’s Pizza, formally O-Town Pizzeria, to Johnnie’s Bar & Grill — Onsted. Currently, the remodeling continues with putting in new men’s and women’s restrooms.
“They will have granite countertops and tiled walls with a mosaic design,” Johnnie told me. “I kind of outdid myself. They will be the most beautiful public bathrooms in a 100-mile radius.”
The menu is extensive. “Sure, we have the usual bar food that our customers expect, but we also include entrees like walleye, and as our kitchen expands, we will be adding ribs and other options that are baked in the oven and don’t come from the grill or deep fryer,” Johnnie said.
Johnnie is keenly aware of the toll the pandemic has taken on people in the area. “I am trying to keep prices as low as I can, while offering high quality food. Our burgers that everyone loves are hand-pattied. I don’t cut corners.”
Johnnie has been working hard to keep businesses alive in Onsted. He bought the barber shop and laundry mat buildings so the owners can continue to operate. He also purchased the flower shop and is hoping for a business owner to move in soon.
An exciting, upcoming event is Johnnie’s Bar & Grill — Onsted’s Ktap 46 benefit on Saturday June 26 when there will be 7 hours of live music from 2:30 PM — 9:30 PM. Proceeds will go toward a college fund for the two young daughters of Korey Taphouse, Onsted graduate and beloved area biker, who worked at the Grand Rapids Harley Davidson. Korey was tragically killed in a hit-and-run at the age of 30 while walking along a busy street in 2017. Orion will kick off the afternoon’s rocking entertainment, followed by Surgical Strike, Stealin’ Copper, Dime Store Brats, and Leadfoot.
For those of you that love great music, but don’t want to commit to a weekend of Faster Horses — Johnnie has you covered. On Saturday, July 17th, Johnnie’s Bar & Grill will welcome back the wildly popular band, Leadfoot from 6:30 PM - 9:30. This is an event you won’t want to miss!
Johnnie isn’t your typical bar owner. He has 12 years of college education, a full-time job as a building inspector in Hamtramck, owns a building company, and over a dozen small-town bars and restaurants. He cares about the community and his employees. “With all my renovation projects, I try to make it better than when I started.”
Johnnie’s Bar & Grill — Onsted is located at 130 N. Main Street.
If you love Johnnie’s Bar & Grill and appreciate everything Johnnie DeAngelis is doing to create a fun atmosphere for area residents, tell me in the comments about your experience!