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Jeff Dietz at Johnny's Roadhouse

Jeff Dietz stands in the alcove of the bandstand room at Johnny’s Roadhouse, surrounded by pictures of famous artists who have performed at the venue.

CUSTER — Jeff Dietz and Jerri Huneycutt, the new owners of Johnny’s sports bar, have a dream to rejuvenate the bandstand room at the venue until the walls are covered with images of acts that have graced the famed stage.

The hope is that the shrine currently located in the alcove at the room’s entrance — featuring images of Chubby Checker, Bill Haley and the Comets and dozens of other famous acts — will expand and fill every wall in the room.

When Dietz and Huneycutt purchased Johnny’s bar — now re-christened Johnny’s Roadhouse — they came one step closer to realizing their dream.

The rejuvenation of the bandstand room is a long-term goal and one that will take time, but Dietz said the new owners have already made headway on smaller projects since they took over ownership of the sports bar on Oct. 1.

For one thing, there’s the new name, which was prompted by Dietz’s dream of a classic, small-town one-stop shop, with different rooms for different purposes; a place where people can come enjoy a burger — someday, maybe even a steak — as well as live music, drinks and more.

“We renamed it Johnny’s Roadhouse because of all the different venues — like the big room for bands and banquettes and the sports bar and fine dining — it makes it feel like a roadhouse,” Dietz said, adding that he’s had his eye on the venue for years.

“I’m from North Carolina. I was born in Ludington and left when I was 9, and every year I’d come up and go ice fishing,” he said. “I’d frequent the bars, and I always wanted to own one of these little bars. Actually — I wanted to own Johnny’s.”

Read the full story in Thursday's Ludington Daily News print and e-Editions.