Pete’s on Johnston Street Turns Setback from Fire into Opportunity for Upgrades, Puts Employees First
Pete's on Johnston Street, a beloved sports bar in Lafayette, is demonstrating resilience in the face of adversity after a recent grease fire caused concern among residents.
The fire, which broke out on Monday afternoon (August 14), led to smoke billowing from the iconic establishment causing social media to spin into a frenzy after seeing photos and videos of damages.
However, the incident has turned into a silver lining for Pete's as they're now using the setback as an opportunity to fast-track their already planned restaurant upgrades.
Fortunately, the majority of the fire's damage was limited to the exterior of the building, sparing the interior from significant harm. Nevertheless, the blaze resulted in extensive damage to the electrical system, forcing Pete's on Johnston to temporarily close its doors until repairs were completed.
Prior to the fire, Pete's had already been considering an interior refresh, and leadership saw the closure as an opportunity to expedite these plans. Charlie Goodson and Jody Ferguson, owners and partners at Southern Hospitality Kitchens, the parent company of Pete's, along with their team, decided to move forward with the upgrades during the closure.
Pete's management expressed deep gratitude for the swift response of the Lafayette Fire Department. Their diligent efforts, carried out under challenging conditions, managed to contain and extinguish the fire, preventing more severe damage to the property and potential harm to lives.
Anna Goodson Stringer, the marketing director for Southern Hospitality Kitchens, revealed that construction contractors are set to begin work this week to implement the planned upgrades. She shared, "We had plans to update our interior after football season, so we will just be moving forward with these plans now."
In a commendable show of support for their employees, Southern Hospitality Kitchens' partners, Jody Ferguson and Charlie Goodson, will ensure that all the Pete's on Johnston Street staff are provided with job opportunities at their other five concepts—Charley G’s, Social, Marcello’s, Tap Room River Ranch, and Tap Room Sugar Mill Pond—during the closure for renovations. Stringer emphasized that their "top priority" is looking after their employees during this transitional period.
Stringer stated, "Keeping our crew employed and continuing to receive paychecks is top priority. We are so fortunate to have 5 local concepts to take them in while we work to rebuild."
While the exact timeline for the remodel remains uncertain, Pete's on Johnston Street is optimistic about maintaining their sports-themed identity. They aim to return in time to "finish strong in the 4th quarter" of 2023, aligning with their sports-centric atmosphere.
"We appreciate the kind words from our community & customers. We will be back soon as the best version of Pete’s you’ve ever seen," Stringer concluded.
As we look forward to the reimagined Pete's on Johnston Street, we also have to applaud their resilience and dedication to both their employees and customers. As construction progresses, the restaurant's transformation promises to hold on to the essence of its legendary status while embracing new upgrades and opportunities.
We'll be following closely and can't wait to eat a Big Pete in the new space!