Updated: Jun 22
Matt Kealy asks local business owners to join him in getting behind the project.
On Jan. 12, 2023, Matt Kealy, owner of Janesville's downtown gastropub drafthouse, sent a letter to the Janesville Gazette giving his take on how the Woodman's Center project will provide a routine flow of business to all of Janesville. Kealy shares similar views as other small business owners we have talked with and believes the project will help local businesses and provide families and individuals with activities that keep them closer to home.
As a small business owner that chose to locate our business in downtown Janesville, we have been excited to see the continued improvements, both public and private, in our downtown. But I also feel not everything has to happen downtown.
These last couple of weekends having home Janesville Jets hockey games has helped contribute to very busy weekends for drafthouse. We have seen locals and out-of-town visitors stop and eat with other local restaurants and us before and after the puck dropped.
The current hockey rink is located one mile from our gastropub, so I wouldn't consider it walking distance this time of year. One great addition this season is the Jets partnered with drafthouse, The Looking Glass, Whiskey Ranch, Wiggy's Saloon, and VanGalder Bus Company to provide a bus that shuttles fans to and from home games from downtown Janesville.
Whether it's one mile or two and a half miles to Uptown Janesville, I saw a town that had something to do this weekend, and people showed up! This is what building a vibrant community is about and why this downtown restauranteur supports the Woodman's Sports and Convention Center.
We appreciate your push for the project, Matt. Thank you!
Are you the owner of a Rock County business and need more information?
The Friends of the Woodman's Center group can provide answers to local business owners who want to learn more about the Woodman's Center project. So, send us a note at email@example.com, and let's set something up. We also encourage you to check out the many studies, cost data, and economic impact resources on our project page.