A new restaurant and bar could open in April at the former Lincoln’s Sports Grille on South Illinois Avenue.
Swifty’s Atomic Bar and Grill could open April 1, general manager Matthew Swift said Monday. The hours and menu haven’t been set yet, but Swift said the restaurant will have fresh food and a full kitchen. Menu items will include wings and bar food, he said.
The goal is to create a place where a family can come and have a good time, Swift said. After about 9-10 p.m., Swifty’s will become a bar, Swift said. The family-owned and family-operated restaurant hopes to offer bands, music, comedy, and karaoke, as well as antique car shows.
The family is still hiring servers and kitchen staff.
The interior layout of Swifty’s will be similar to Lincoln’s, but crews are painting inside and Swift said there will be a canopy over the bar. Some Oak Ridge residents have mourned the loss of Lincoln’s as a place to watch sports. Swift said Swifty’s will be a sports bar and allow patrons a place to watch games and sporting events.
Swift said the restaurant, which is owned by his mother Nellie Lee Swift, who previously owned three food establishments outside Chicago, is named after his father, who worked in the nuclear industry for 40 years and for EnergySolutions for 15 years, including 10 in Oak Ridge.
“This is named after him,” Swift said.
He said the restaurant wants to be involved in the local community and work with nonprofits. They plan to offer good management and good service.
“We’ve had nothing but great results from the community,” Swift said.
Citing economic conditions, Lincoln’s Sports Grille closed in October 2014 after operating for more than four years. The popular restaurant and bar had had a series of five sometimes-contentious show cause hearings before the Oak Ridge Beer Permit Board, and in the last show cause hearing in August 2014, members revoked Lincoln’s permit.
Lincoln’s regained the beer permit after a temporary agreement imposing new conditions was worked out with the city and Beer Board and approved by Anderson County Chancellor Nicki Cantrell, pending an appeal of the Beer Board’s revocation.
But in an interview in October 2014, Scott Green, one of Lincoln’s owners, said the inability to sell beer between late August and early October had a substantial impact on the business. The restaurant and its staff had also been hurt by the bad publicity, Green said.
On Monday, Swift said Swifty’s will card everybody. There will be no underage sales, he said. Swifty’s will have a security team and cameras, and will communicate with the Oak Ridge Police Department, Swift said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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