The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

July 20, 2013

B-29 launches new mission: Tavern shifts focus to diners

JOHNSTOWN — A renowned Brownstown establishment is back to serving customers but with a different focus: dining.

The B-29 Restaurant, formerly the B-29 Tavern, was reopened about two weeks ago by a man who owned the business before.

Dean Smuro, a Brownstown native now living in Chambersburg, Frank­lin County, owned the B-29 about

10 years ago for a couple of years.

The establishment at 125 Ha­bicht St. had two other owners before Smuro resumed ownership six months ago.

Smuro also bought the former Doug’s Place tavern across the street and reopened it as Fun Times tavern at the same time he opened the restaurant.

The 1959 graduate of Ferndale Area High School spent the past six months remodeling the restaurant, placing an emphasis on dining. Alcoholic beverages will still be available, he said.

“We changed it,” Smuro said. “We gave it a little different atmosphere.”

The B-29 can seat 65 people for dinner, he said. “It’s nice.”

The beer lights on the walls have been replaced by wall lamps.

Smuro also hired a manager, Pamela Manon, and a chef, Aaron Lewis, plus a number of servers.

“Aaron is a fabulous cook,” Smuro said. “He can make the dinner of your choice.”

Manon has plenty of experience at managing a restaurant and also will lead the serving staff, Smuro said.

Lewis, who had been a chef in the Navy and has an associate degree in culinary arts from the Commonwealth Technical Institute in Upper Yoder Township, said turning the

B-29 into a restaurant was a good idea.

“The concept is there,” he said.

“The customers are nice people,” Lewis said. “The word has gotten out that we are open.”

Customers also are ordering takeouts, he said.

The B-29 opens at 11 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays for lunch and remains open through dinnertime and beyond if there are still customers, he said.

Smuro, who has every Ferndale Area High School yearbook from 1938 to the present, plus a number of Greater Johnstown High School yearbooks, is keeping the books at the restaurant for customers, especially Ferndale graduates, to read.

Smuro plans to keep the restaurant open later at some point and have light entertainment. He is hoping to do business on Sundays, possibly with a buffet, beginning in January.

At Fun Times tavern, 150 Habicht St., manager Frank Steele is offering a grand opening special through

Aug. 1, Smuro said. A glass of beer will cost $1.25 and bottles of beer $1.35 during the special.

In addition to alcoholic beverages, the tavern will serve sandwiches and pizzas.

Hours will be 4:30 p.m. until closing Mondays through Saturdays.

The original B-29 was started by two Brownstown brothers when they returned home from fighting in World War II.

Steve Oleksa, who was in the Navy and resides near the B-29, said they chose the name because his late brother, John, served as a mechanic with a B-29 squadron.

A propeller from a B-29 plane that the brothers installed inside the establishment remains a fixture at the restaurant.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota Volunteers helping to spruce up community

    Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
    The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna Hartzok targets income disparity

    Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
    The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schools rise to leadership challenge

    Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA Student’s photos win awards

    A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Siehl JIM SIEHL | Music to my ears

    Seldom has $15 produced such a high level of entertainment as it did a few weeks ago when I found myself in the second row just left of center keeping back the tears once again during my third live performance of “Les Miserables.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Bye, bye, Easter birdies

    Animals fascinated my mom. Riding the train between Johnstown and Philly, she saw horses, pigs, sheep, cows … a Mattel See ’n Say of farm critters.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Eggert Columnist Photo Travelogue of terror features Johnstown area

    A historic week will surround the venerable Silver Drive-In come the beginning of May.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads