When Jim Jones considered a second location for his Boneyard Pub & Grille in Mukwonago, he set some specific parameters.
- A small town atmosphere with friendly people.
- A place where he can offer new and popular menu choices.
- A place where his business can play a positive role and partner with the community.
After carefully considering his options, Jones chose Sussex.
"Sussex seems to be a town very similar to Mukwonago," Jones said. "We like the people and the small town atmosphere.
"Sussex doesn’t have the big city feel, and that’s not who we are, and that’s part of why we chose Sussex.”
Jones pitched his plans to village officials who, in turn, gave him the go ahead to set up shop in the former Seigo’s Steakhouse restaurant, at N64 W23180 Main St.
“We’re so excited to come to Sussex and we’re extremely happy the board seemed exited that we are coming,” said Jones. “They feel we bring something new to town and we’re very excited about the approval."
The new restaurant will add 50 to 70 new jobs in the village. Boneyard will be looking to hire cooks, waitresses, bartenders, table attendants and hostesses. If all goes well, Jones said, the Sussex Boneyard will open in mid-September.
Boneyard’s first location opened in 2007 and, a year later, Jones planned to build a second location in Burlington. The nation’s economic crash ruined his plans.
“The economy fell apart and all of our funding got pulled back,” Jones said. “We’re going a little slower with Sussex. We’re excited to get the approval. We have 95 percent of the financing approved.”
The Sussex location also will open with a proven business model and menu that allow the restaurant to grow, even in tough economic times.
“We’ve done well and we’ve grown every year since ’07, even through 2008 and 2009, which weren’t very good for a lot of places,” Jones said.
Boneyard’s menu includes popular fare such as wings, sandwiches, burgers, chicken and steaks. Jones hopes to add new items to his Sussex menu, including pizza and breakfast.
“We bring a very good product at a fair price. We feel we’re at a price point that hasn’t been affected by the economy," said Jones, who estimated an average Boneyard tab runs up to $12, including drinks.
"The people that are really hurting are the high end steak joints. People just aren’t going out and spending $25 to $35 on a meal per person.
"People are still going out and the restaurant industry is still growing," Jones said. "It’s just growing in a different market.”
An integral element of the Boneyard business model includes making a positive difference within the community, as Jones has done in Mukwonago. Boneyard sponsors many Mukwonago High School sporting events and tournaments, and supports the high school drama department as caterer for the senior banquet, Jones said.
Because Sussex also is a smaller community, Jones believes similar opportunities to contribute to the community reside in the village.
“We feel we can do a lot with the community, especially with Sussex Hamilton High School,” Jones said.
For more information about Boneyard Pub & Grille and its current menu, visit www.boneyardwings.com.