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story.lead_photo.caption Charlie "MC" Christiansen, left, and his son Charlie, pose in the area of what will be a Big Whiskey's restaurant and bar. It will be located on the east end of the first floor of the former JCD building on E. McCarty Street. The newly renovated area will be known as River Walk and in addition to the restaurant will feature a retail space on the first floor and office space on the third floor. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

Big Whiskey's American Restaurant & Bar is coming to Jefferson City in the next few months.

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Jefferson City man envisions new life for old shoe factory

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Big Whiskey's plans to move into half of the first floor of the 40,000-square-foot old JCD building at 627 W. McCarty St. around July 15, property owner Charlie Jon Christiansen told a crowd of business representatives and city officials during the Jefferson Area Chamber of Commerce's Friday Coffee last week.

The chain has more than 10 restaurants already established across the country, according to Big Whiskey's website, including in Springfield, Lee's Summit, Republic and Nixa. The restaurant serves burgers, pasta, wings, appetizers, ribeyes, salads and alcoholic drinks, among other items.

"I'm definitely very blessed and excited about it," Christiansen said. "I think they're going to bring a whole lot to Jefferson City, from the giving back level to just (somewhere) where people will want to be. The way we think of Big Whiskey's, we hope it will be the flagship place here."

The other half of the first floor will be occupied by Initially Yours, Christiansen said. A monogrammed and unique gifts store, Initially Yours currently operates at 409 W. Miller St.

About 10 businesses will lease offices on the third floor of the building, Christiansen said. Those businesses plan to move into their offices in mid-July.

Christiansen is currently looking for individuals to lease the second floor.

He does not currently plan to lease the basement, Christiansen said, adding the basement is in a flood zone and requires more work.

Christiansen had been eyeing the building for about two or three years and bought the property last fall. Since then, he — along with his wife, Jessica, and father, Charlie Christiansen Jr. — have been renovating the old JCD Furniture building.

The Christiansens plan to make several improvements to the building, including putting in a new front porch, adding a pavilion and awning, replacing the windows, doing tuckpointing and repairing the roof.

However, they want to repurpose several features inside, including an elevator in the basement and the original wooden support posts that came from buildings constructed for the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.

Christiansen declined to say what he plans to spend on renovations.

Soon to have the new name "River Park," the old JCD building has sat vacant for about nine years. It was constructed in 1905 as a shoe factory and later housed JCD Furniture.

Chamber President Randy Allen said he is excited for Big Whiskey's to come to the Capital City and hopes this will encourage other people to bring businesses to the community.

"This is just an example of a building that has not been put to good use over the years, and finally we have somebody who has the vision and the resources and the commitment to do this," he said. "Here we are in Central Missouri in a market that normally wouldn't lend itself to this, and here they are bringing it to our community."

All three Christiansens currently own West Main Pizza.

Know of any business happenings around Jefferson City? Let us know at [email protected]

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