'The town deserves something'

New restaurant expected to open in February

GTNS photo by David Hotle

Jessica Haines shows the pizza oven that will be used when J & J Pizza opens in Winfield at the end of February.
GTNS photo by David Hotle Jessica Haines shows the pizza oven that will be used when J & J Pizza opens in Winfield at the end of February.

WINFIELD — Jessica Haines believes Winfield deserves to have dining options and a restaurant that will become the social hub for the town. After Paul Revere Pizza and Oasis, the Mexican restaurant, closed, she and her husband, Joel, decided to open their own place.

“There isn’t a lot of business here — which is why we wanted to do it,” Haines said while discussing the pending opening of J&J’s, her new pizza restaurant, in the former Paul Revere building. “I moved here but my husband grew up here. The school system and the people — the town deserves something for people to come in and participate in.”

Haines and her husband Joel are renovating the former Paul Revere Pizza restaurant at 110 N. Locust St. She commented that when it is done she hopes it will look nothing like the former business.

In the wake of the former pizzeria and Mexican restaurant closing, Haines began talking with Winfield residents and heard plenty of support to bring something else into town.

Haines explained the Casey’s general store and the American Legion were the only places in town that serve food.

Hoping to do her part to help the town grow, Haines envisions the restaurant to provide the option people in town are looking for. Since news got around that the building was being remodeled and the town could look forward to a new restaurant, Haines said there has been plenty of excitement among the people in town.

“I’ve been looking into a lot of different pizza recipes so there will be more than just traditional types,” Haines said. “I know there are gluten free pizzas. I want a variety for people who don’t eat certain things. There also will be a variety of toppings you wouldn’t think of that other places in America go over.”

In addition to pizza, she is hoping to offer sandwiches, wings, salads and other things. Haines also said she hopes to be open in the morning with coffee and rolls. She is also considering a delivery service.

Another possibility is for the restaurant to open in the morning to offer coffee and cinnamon rolls.

After having worked in the former business, Haines was concerned that it was becoming another empty building along the main street.

“My friend ran Paul Revere’s and after it closed the building just kind of sat here,” Haines explained. “One day I told Joel that we should just do this. He said ‘OK,’ so we bought it.”

The business started when Haines was discussing the future of the building with former Paul Revere franchise owner Jennifer Houston. Haines always had the dream of owning her own restaurant. After the discussion, Haines approached Joel about buying the building.

Haines has had a long history of food preparation, having worked such places as restaurants and retirement communities. She also said that, while she didn’t attend, in high school she had received a small scholarship to attend a culinary art school. Haines elaborated that she had studied food preparation all four years of high school.

Joel, a construction worker by trade, is currently doing the work to renovate the restaurant in his off hours. The building J & J’s will be located in is one of the oldest buildings in town and repairs were required. After working to replace the floor around the pizza oven, Joel Haines found the floor had not been replaced since the building was constructed. He began working to replace the entire floor.

The restaurant is expected to be open in late February.