August 10, 2009

'John's Dock' to open in former Sandpiper's

Look for a "more affordable, more fun" restaurant and bar is opening in the former Sandpiper's at 303 Dodge St.

The owners of John's Dock received a liquor license Monday night contingent on passing health inspections and submitting a menu to the Public Safety and Licensing Committee. The committee voted unanimously in favor of the license.

Owner John Durk hopes to open by Sept. 1. He described the restaurant as a place where a couple can get sandwiches and a couple of drinks for $20. "We're not going for upscale," Durk said. "It's basic food."

Durk said he planned to have some live music, including Jimmy-Buffet-esque bands and possibly a karaoke night. The restaurant will be themed to attract middle-aged adults, he said. Durk added he plans to be "very involved" with Downtown Racine events.

The hours are scheduled as 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.


  1. Wait I thought there was huge trouble with drunks in the Downtown area? That was what we were told last night when the Chun's were not allowed to sell packaged goods.
    What gives?

  2. You always have something derogatory to say, Colt. You always think you have the answers to everything. For your information this business already had a liquor license, so it goes it would be approved for the new owner. The Chun's did not have one. I believe I know who you are, and if I am correct, you need professional help. Get it.

  3. Isn't that exactly what Sandpiper's was?

    I hope he didn't pay the 195 they were looking for. (biz only)

  4. Gee you mean the troubles with the drunks that were talk about by so many on 6th st is not going on?
    If there is the trouble why more bars of any type if there is no trouble why say no to the Chun's?
    I do believe I will be looking into the history of the licenses in the downtown bars.
    Laura I so do dislike what happened to the Chun's do you think it was fair? Is there an issue with drunks?

  5. This is different. It is a Class B license in an existing restaurant. While it is technically a new license, it is essentially a transfer.

    The Chun's were seeking to exceed the city's Class A quota. When it came time for the committee to decide that issue, neither they, the landlord, or the TEA group addressed that. The opposition I heard didn't address that either. The law is pretty clear on this, but the only people who I heard talking about it last night were the committee members.

  6. Greg - Thanks for clearing this up - Colt ole boy is always looking for something to complain about.

  7. I have to defend Colt here. I too was concerned. The question begged to be asked.

    We need businesses in Racine. We are doing ourselves a disservice to have too strict of limits.

    The law should be changed. We need to allow businesses to come here and open up.

    If there are problems then that is when action should be taken. We lose nothing. We gain the license fee and can revoke it. That is what the law should cover. We need a pro business law. 6 month probation period something to that effect.

  8. The Translator8/11/2009 8:41 AM

    Cheri and good ole Fritz must have been OK with this one.

  9. Why can't the transfer be denied, and a new license be given to the CS?

  10. Great question. The answer is 'no' because we are dealing with two different types of licenses.

    The Sandpiper's license is a Class B, which is a license for "on premise" consumption of alcohol. Although the law doesn't say this, one way to think of it is "B is for bar".

    The CS was seeking a Class A license, which is a license for retail sales.

    The city, like others in Wisconsin (including Kenosha) has a self-imposed quota on Class A licenses.

    The state imposed a quota on Class B licenses.

  11. Good luck to the new owners - I like sitting on the deck for a drink and or a meal over looking the river. It's a good place for that.

  12. Next time a Class A come up for renewal, or review, can it be denied, then given to this CS?

    Why is it that there frequently is a law preventing something, but rarely a way to make a well intentioned exception?

    I thought councils (city), commissions, agencies, departments, etc. were to do this. That's why we have something called "judgement".

  13. It could only be denied for renewal or revoked by going through a due process hearing.

    With all due respect, I believe this law does prevent things while allowing for well-intentioned exceptions. The committee decided that this proposal did not meet the exception requirements.

  14. Nope, not enough value to this new business. Why bother when you can just raise taxes on the homeowners?

    You would think that someone would have to be crazy to want to come to Racine and start a business on a street (an entire city for that matter) with countless empty storefronts and a street that is torn up. Having his attempts THWARTED is the stuff of legend!

  15. Good point, It does have elements of Twilight Zone.

    Didn't they make a Twilight Zone where there was an empty struggling town and the council would vote against helping the town?

  16. Downtown Denizen8/12/2009 11:03 AM

    I'll bet Jeff Shawhan is all in favor of this one. It's not on his precious 6th St. and therefore someone else's problem. Let's hope he keeps his nose out of it and concerns himself with 6th St. only, as was his advice to others.

  17. Actually I was thinking of inviting "Mr 6th St." to either the Tango Bar, or John's Dock on opening day for an Ice TEA, or perhaps a Long island Ice TEA....Serious offer too!

    We can get a plastic cup if you prefer. But I find Glass is more environmentally friendly.

  18. Isn't Wayne Klingman, I mean Colt the same guy who demanded that the beer license at the convenient store by his house be revoked because of people hanging out in their parking lot, being loud, littering etc. How is that convenience store working out for you buddy?

  19. Interesting comments by all.

    Is the establishment immediately next door. the old Chartroom still in business? It seems that everytime I run or cycle by the facility there are no vehicles in the parking area or along the street.

  20. This use to be the Sandpiper and it right by the bridge. It has been closed for a while and now re-opening.

  21. Jeff shawhan2/10/2010 7:15 PM

    Wow what an honor to be revered in such a light! But just for the factual side of things: I have never opposed a bar or resturant in any part of Racine. Matter of fact, I even have talked with keith farr and wish him my best. It was the opposition to the liquor store which the chungs wanted to open. Those who are in the the immediate facinity have the most to lose or gain by what businesses are located next to them. It is those whose concerns should matter the most, not some jacketed political party looking for a stump. I'm probably the least politically active person I know, but I know what effects my business directly and I took my stand. So, move on and be a positive influence not just a hate pueing twerp with no life!

  22. My boyfriend and I decided to try a new place to eat----This is without a doubt the best place for fish (blows the Yardarm away). I have told all my friends about John'sDock and they agree.
    Not fancy but enough fish for 2 people, we have tried the baked and fried cod --perch-Great-homemade french fries are yummy too.This place is underated.