Two J’s: reconfigure the old; start a new

“It will be a bit smaller space with a slightly scaled-down menu; I refer to it as quick casual,” Ball said while taking a break from remodeling the space. “We’ll serve lunch and early dinner Tuesday through Saturday.”


Ball is counting on a Nov. 1 opening for the new Two J’s.

What may be even more exciting are the owners’ plans for the former Two J’s space facing Rt.15.

Joshua and Megan Ball and Jerome Smialek are opening a full-service, sit down restaurant, The Community Pour House, in about six weeks.

Its focus will be to highlight chef Joshua Bell’s many culinary talents using fresh, home-grown ingredients. The plan is to serve dinner Wednesday through Saturday.

“We’re working with local farmers to raise food and meats just for us,” Megan Ball said.

Because Two J’s goes through 1,500 pounds of meat each week, they aren’t able to buy that meat locally, so the owners are excited to use Fluvanna’s community in that way with the Pour House.

“When Two J’s opening, it was awesome the support , feedback and loyalty we received,” Megan Ball said. “It is nice to be so enveloped by the community. I mean, no one expects to serve 150 on their first night.”

Fluvanna native Pauline Persinger, started working with Ball June 1. She is helping the Balls and Smialek redecorate the new Two J’s and will help run that aspect of the enterprise. Persinger said the new Two J’s will have much the same warm, inviting colors and feel of the old space.

The Community Pour House will retain the Two J’s color palette and feel, but the big middle island is gone to make room for more seating, Ball said. Maximum seating will be 40.

As the name of the new restaurant implies, a focus of the Community Pour House will also be great local beer and wine. “We really intend to bring that up to the next level,” Ball said.

The owners are doing much of the remodeling themselves, contracting out the more skilled electrical and plumbing work.

Don’t expect white tablecloths, but do expect real glasses, plates and tableware, Ball said.

“Our focus will be on excellent service,” she said. “And we’ll soon be looking to hire experienced wait staff.”

Ball said they have always thought of opening another restaurant and it’s happening now because the time is right.

They reached a fair agreement with the building’s owner to take over that section along with the side the original Two J’s was in and decided to go for it, Ball said.

During the weeks they’ve been closed, the group has been busy catering and remodeling.

They are excited to start up again.

“When people hear we’re opening up a second restaurant in Palmyra, they all ask the same thing, “Why Palmyra?’” Ball said. “Our stock answer has become, ‘Why not Palmyra?’ The community has welcomed us and we’ve done well here. Why not Palmyra?”

Clarification regarding a Nov. 1 story about Two J’s Smokehouse: Two J’s Smokehouse will open the week of Nov. 5. Jerome Smialek has no connection to either Two J’s or the Community Pour House restaurant. Pauline Persinger will be managing Two J’s and has been involved in the renovations.

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