New owners reopen Jonesburg bar

By Theo Tate
Posted 5/12/23

After working as a truck driver for years, Mike Axton wanted to try something new – start his own business.

So in January, the Imperial native bought the Ole Town Bar and Grill, a …

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New owners reopen Jonesburg bar


After working as a truck driver for years, Mike Axton wanted to try something new – start his own business.

So in January, the Imperial native bought the Ole Town Bar and Grill, a Jonesburg establishment that has a rich history. His business partners are wife Adrienne and in-laws Mark and Michelle Elliott.

“It was a no-brainer in my eyes to make something great again,” Axton said. “This place has a very good following. There are a lot of regulars who tend to come back. We provide daily specials that they absolutely love. We kept the same kitchen staff. We added a few new faces. We just wanted to revitalize the old building.”

Ole Town, located at 109 W. Booneslick, was reopened on March 10. It has a staff of about 10 people, including Anita Young, who has worked as a full-time cook for 30 years.

“She’s a veteran here,” Axton said. “She’s been here for a long time. So that was one thing that we didn’t want to change. People love her cooking and they come back for it. So she’s our foundation here.”

Axton said the Ole Town building was constructed around 1885. Although a fire struck Jonesburg 40 years later, the building was not affected.

Axton said his goal for Ole Town is to be a place where families can enjoy a great night out with good food and good service.

“In retrospect, I wanted this to be a place where my family can come for a long time,” Axton said. “Maybe, I’ll pass it down to my sons eventually. We plan to be here for a while. We’re going to set some roots in.”

Axton said he made plans to expand Ole Town Bar and Grill. A building that is west of the bar, which is 111 W. Booneslick, will include a new dining room and kitchen. Another building, 107 W. Boonslick, will be an entertainment center that includes a pool table, horseshoe pits and a back patio.

“It will give us some really nice curb appeal for people who want to come in whenever they drive by and look at it,” Axton said.

Axton, who graduated from Seckman High School in Imperial in 2007, bought the establishment from Butch Angel. He also purchased the buildings at 107 and 111 Booneslick.

“Westward expansion was what I was looking at the whole time whenever I made the idea to purchase this place,” Axton said. “People are moving further and further west to get out of the suburban areas.”

Axton, his wife and son moved to the Jonesburg area in September. The Axtons are expecting another child in July.

“I found a little honey hole here, so to speak,” Axton said. “The people are very nice and very welcoming. It’s a tight knit community. Personally, I have never grown up in one of those before. It’s been overwhelming with the amount of support that we had from the community and others from outside the community as well.”

Ole Town Bar and Grill opens every day. It is known for its lunch specials, which includes pasta on Mondays, taco salad on Tuesdays, fried chicken on Wednesday, barbecue on Thursday and roast beef on Friday.

“There have been times that there’s not a seat in the house,” Axton said. “It fills up. The lunch specials are a big deal in this town. We like to cater to everybody.”

Axton said after two months, he enjoys being an entrepreneur.

“I can honestly say that I enjoy coming to work every day,” he said. “I love interacting with people. From what I can tell, they love interacting with me as well, not just myself, but all of the staff here.”


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