The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 15, 2013

Entrepreneurial frame of mind

We welcome three new businesses to city

— Area consumers soon will have three more reasons to drive into downtown Johnstown.

That’s good news for a city working hard to boost its image and its offerings while increasing its tax rolls and stimulating its economy.

We’d say the opening of three new businesses, two of which are eating establishments, accomplishes all of the above.

Here’s what is coming, all along Main Street:

* R.J.’s Cafe and Lounge, in the former downtown landmark Johnnie’s Restaurant and Lounge. Owners are Ron and Tammy Honkus.

* Rocco’s Submarine Sandwiches, in the former site of Em’s Sub Shop next to Celestial Brides. Robert Fetzko, who operates a pizza shop in Westwood, is the owner. 

* The Vault Salon and Spa, in the former Moxham National Bank building. Michelle Geisel and Lisa Broadwater are teaming up on this venture.

“There are a lot of good things going on in the downtown area,” said city Councilman Frank Janakovic, who also spends his days in the city as director of the Alternative Community Resource Program.

Added Councilwoman Marie Mock, “(Existing businesses) are also very happy these new businesses are opening up, too, because that brings people.

“It’s a good thing the whole way around.”

She’s right. The more businesses a community has, the more people they attract.

Too, the new offerings will please downtown workers, who increasingly have bemoaned the shrinking presence of businesses, especially eating opportunities.

Hopefully, it will cut down on the mass exit witnessed each weekday afternoon when workplaces close.  

For our city leaders, the work is far from done. Several Main Street storefronts remain vacant. But 2013 is looking rosier so far.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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