BOARDMAN ––The Southern Park Bunker, the area’s newest and largest indoor dining, golf, and entertainment center is hoping to be open by Labor Day 2021.
The business, formed in 2020, will completely renovate and occupy the entire 37,500-square-foot indoor space and a new outdoor patio, formerly occupied by Jillian’s on the southeast corner of the mall and overlooking the new DeBartolo Commons space.
Jonah Karzmer, founder of The Southern Park Bunker, describes the process as a coming together of multiple businesses and individuals to help grow the game of golf locally and offer a first-class entertainment center.
Karzmer cites two partnerships that are integral to the project. Bogey’s Bar and Grill in Lowellville will open a second location and serve as The Bunker’s food and beverage provide. Former PGA Tour player and major championship winner Ben Curtis, Karzmer’s former teammate at Kent State, will expand his teaching operation as the new Ben Curtis Academy of Youngstown.
As architectural plans are being finalized, Karzmer says he’s proud of the role The Bunker will play in rehabilitating the mall that’s “so central and so important to Boardman’s well-being.”
With a total estimated investment of over $3 million, The Bunker will need to hire 100 new employees by August. And through a defined goal of creating “common good,” Karzmer says he is working with nonprofits and plans to offer a rent-free space for their fundraising.
Operationally, The Bunker will offer four different public food and beverage options but will also have an annual membership opportunity that would include member only indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as special pricing and booking options on golf simulators, future Ben Curtis Academy lessons and classes, and various member only social and business events.
Memberships in The Bunker will be available on an individual, family, or corporate basis with a special high school memberships for members of golf teams.
“We have so many moving pieces at the moment, that it can feel overwhelming at times,” Karzmar says of starting operations. “The number of employees we’ll be able to hire. The incredible opportunity to expand the game I love and create a special place, especially for juniors learning the game. Bringing Bogey’s to Boardman. And having my old friend and major champion Ben Curtis involved makes it all the more special.”