The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

January 9, 2013

Three new businesses investing in downtown

JOHNSTOWN — Three business owners are expressing confidence in downtown Johnstown by opening businesses inside vacant Main Street storefronts.

Ron and Tammy Honkus are working on major renovations to open R.J.’s Cafe and Lounge at the former downtown landmark Johnnie’s Restaurant and Lounge.

Up the street, Michelle Geisel and Lisa Broadwater have crews preparing to open their new business, The Vault Salon and Spa, in the former Moxham National Bank building.

Another new dining spot, Rocco’s Submarine Sandwiches, will be opening soon at the former site of Em’s Sub Shop at 345 Main St. 

Owner Robert Fetzko also has Pizza Man’s Pizza shop at 1745 Lyter Drive in Westwood.

Ron Honkus said he and his wife have always wanted to open a restaurant.

“We have been tossing this around for years,” Honkus said while polishing the metal ceiling tiles above the bar.

“This came up last summer and we made the move.”

His family owns G.M. Honkus & Sons salvage yard at 2030 Seanor Road, Windber. His sister, Sharon Honkus, has Celestial Brides just around the corner at 142 Market St.

The couple is buying the entire 415 Main St. building from Southmont resident Tim Corcoran, who operated Johnnie’s for about a year after founder M. John Mavrodis retired in 2008. Tammy Honkus will manage the operation.

Ron Honkus said the couple hopes to return the business to the popularity it had under Mavrodis’ guidance.

“I think there is a place in downtown Johnstown for a restaurant and lounge like this,” Honkus said. “We have a lot of people we are working with, consulting on the restaurant.”

Opening is targeted for spring.

The Vault will combine Geisel’s 25 years as a licensed cosmetologist and Broadwater’s background in business management to create a new experience in luxury, Geisel said.

“It will be a complete day spa and hair salon,” Geisel said.

Manicures, pedicures, and a variety of massage and facial treatments will be offered by The Vault’s staff of about 10 employees to start, she said.

Patrons may spend the day being pampered, with lunch brought in from nearby restaurants.

“There is no full-service spa in Johnstown,” Geisel said. “We will cater to wedding parties and groups.”

The former bank lobby will serve as the main salon and manicure area. Additional rooms in the back and on a mezzanine will provide more privacy for massages and facial treatments. There will be a relaxation lounge overlooking the main salon.

Geisel and Broadwater have been friends for 16 years, when both were waitresses at a Richland Township restaurant.

Broadwater was promoted into management and went on to run other businesses. Geisel renewed her cosmetology training and later opened her own business, Sublime Hairstyling, at 540 Edward St. in Southmont.

Sublime will continue to operate, but Geisel will be working in The Vault at 407 Main St.

An early February opening is planned.

Fresh-baked bread, never-frozen hamburgers and fresh french fries will set Rocco’s apart from the competition, promoters say.

Final touches are under way for Rocco’s to open on Monday, an employee said.

City leaders welcomed news of the downtown investments.

“There are a lot of good things going on in the downtown area,” city Councilman Frank Janakovic said during Wednesday’s meeting.

Others agreed, and noted their appreciation for existing businesses.

“I want to just say I appreciate the existing businesses that have stuck with the city and not moved up onto either of the hilltops,” Councilman Pete Vizza said. “They’ve seen good and bad times, and they’ve stuck with it.”

“(Existing businesses) are also very happy these new businesses are opening up, too, because that brings people,” Councilwoman Marie Mock said. “It’s a good thing the whole way around.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • 10 things to know for Tuesday

    July 29, 2014

  • DePrimio, Mary Grace Winner of scholarship contest to represent Pa.

    Seventeen high school seniors, including three from this region, are competing to be named Distinguished Young Woman of Pennsylvania 2015.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Restaurant makes pitch for local noise law

    A Scalp Avenue wing chain owner trying to entice Richland Township officials to take over his commercial neighborhood’s noise enforcement made his pitch Monday, saying it would allow him to add outdoor events with rock bands and oldies DJs on summer nights.

    July 28, 2014

  • Tom Grenell Arena, promoter nearing new deal

    A new contract is almost in place that will retain SMG as the Cambria County War Memorial Arena’s promoter for at least five years and create a schedule for the county to pay down more than $400,000 in debt.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • PennDOT pushes ‘Yellow Dot’ vehicle stickers

    It’s the car sticker that could save your life.
    PennDOT’s “Yellow Dot” program has been around for several years, said Daniel Zakraysek, coordinator of the Cambria Allegheny Regional Highway Safety Network.

    July 28, 2014

  • Remembering elephant’s rampage

    The circus elephant paced the landing outside the Jaffa Mosque in Altoona.
    Police formed an uneasy line around the perimeter of the venue’s lawn, rifles at the ready.
    It was a cloudy, cold day in April 1993, and Tyke the elephant had just run around the circus ring, slapped a baboon and burst through a building’s front door, tearing off part of the wall above the door.

    July 28, 2014

  • 3rd Kennywood coaster earns title

    The group American Coaster Enthusiasts has named the Thunderbolt a Coaster Landmark, the third roller coaster to be so recognized at the Kennywood amusement park near Pittsburgh.

    July 28, 2014

  • Candidates rush to counter flurry of TV attack ads

    A flurry of new TV ads has debuted in Pennsylvania’s campaign for governor, sending candidates scrambling to counter the attacks as the spending and rhetoric ratchet up.

    July 28, 2014

  • State briefs 7/29/2014

    July 28, 2014

  • Local briefs 7/29/2014

    July 28, 2014

Poll

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.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads