Volume 92, Issue 1

Friday, May 15, 1998

empty pockets


T.J.'s grand re-opening an explosive event

Gazette Staff

Four weeks after the big boom, T.J. Baxter's Tap & Grill re-opened its doors to the public Monday night.

"We were packed – approximately 400 people visited the bar throughout the evening," said Perry Jeffery, owner of T.J. Baxter's. He added his establishment has also been extremely busy since the opening.

The restaurant closed April 11 after a bomb exploded in the men's washroom causing damage originally estimated by police to be at $1 million. Jeffery said the cost is now estimated between $200,000 and $300,000.

Restaurant manager Chris Martin said despite the cost, damages were minimal and the only visible difference within the restaurant is a new coat of paint.

"Not a lot of damage was done – everything still looks the same except for a new colour scheme," he said.

Convinced the bombing was merely a random act of violence, Jeffery assured there was no cause for concern about the restaurant's re-opening.

"We were all very anxious to re-open," Jeffery said. He added no staff was lost as a result of the incident, nor was there any concern about the possibility of a second incident.

Although unaware of the re-opening date of the restaurant, Sgt. Gary Brown of the London Police Department was similarily doubtful there should be any further concern over the incident. "There is no new information about the bombing," he said. He also noted there would not be extra police patrolling in the area of the restaurant.

Priya Nalkur, a third-year kinesiology student at Western, agreed the bombing was a random act of violence and said she would attend the restaurant without hesitation. "Any restaurant would have the same risk," she added.

However, Jonathan Nolan, a third-year international student at Western, questioned the safety of the restaurant and said he would think twice before going there. He explained he did not agree with the reasoning that it was just a random act of violence.

Overall, Jeffery said he is pleased with the positive response received by the re-opening of the restaurant. "It looks like it's business as usual," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998