It was a big night Friday for Matthew and Carmela Lockwood, the new owners of Jerry’s Pizza on South Main Street, as they hosted an unofficial grand opening of their new sports bar, just next door to the restaurant.
Matthew Lockwood, said the bar has been open for about two weeks, but he and his carpenter have put the finishing touches on the interior, and plans on a formal grand opening in the very near future.
One person conspicuously missing was Matthew Lockwood’s father.
“It was one of the dreams he had,” Lockwood said of his father, Terry Lockwood, who worked as a dispatcher for the Middletown Police Department. He died in 1995.
“My dad always wanted a bar or restaurant, but couldn’t with five kids. Now we bought Jerry’s and we had the opportunity so we took the opportunity. It’s in honor of him,” he said.
Lockwood said his decision was also driven by a need for something like his establishment.
“I tried bringing in something that’s needed on this side of town,” he said.
Matthew Lockwood said the official grand opening of the bar will be sometime later this month.
“We’ll do it once we work all the bugs out, let the employees adjust. We want to promote a good atmosphere,” he said.
“We want people to feel at home, watch some TV, listen to music,” he said.
Matty’s Next Door boasts 13 television sets and 22 beers just on tap alone.
“We can get any game on any TV…We offer IPAs, white Belgian beer and other microbrews, as well as some of the old fashioned beers, like Pabst Blue Ribbon, Miller and Schaefer in a can.
Tap beer is among the coldest in town, given a state-of-the-art system that delivers beer to a glass at about 28 degrees.
There is also a sound system, a dance lighting system, and karaoke every Thursday night.
Lockwood said there will be bands and DJs on the weekends after the grand opening.
Matty’s Next Door also has a Super Bowl Party Feb. 3rd, with free food and drink specials
Along with the addition of Matty’s Next Door came an expansion of Jerry’s Pizza’s dining room.
“It was tight in there, uncomfortable for people who wanted to sit down and eat. This will give everyone some more elbow room, a little more room to enjoy themselves,” he said.
The restaurant menu will be available in the bar, and a new bar menu is available as well. Lockwood said all the recipes for their food will stay the same as the previous owner’s.
He said gluten free items have been added to the menu, and Matty’s Next Door offers some gluten-free beers and spirits.
The Lockwoods previously ran a restaurant in Durham before buying Jerry’s. Pizza. He singled out the city of Middletown as business friendly.
“They’ve been phenomenal,” he said of the city’s building officials and agencies. “The city of Middletown has been nice, and helpful. I’d recommend to anyone to come to Middletown to open a business. They work with you, not against you like a lot of towns do,” Lockwood said.