Mulligan's Restaurant & Pub will reopen — likely in April.

JACKSON TWP.  New owners plan to reopen Mulligan's Restaurant & Pub sometime in April.

The popular Belden Village restaurant has been purchased by Joanna Swallen and her husband Thomas Swallen, owner of Windsor Medical Center. The spot has been closed since the end of January when previous owners Ron Briggs and his sister, Joycelyn, stepped away because of health issues.

Joanna Swallen announced the plans to reopen on Mullingan's Facebook page Saturday evening. She called the response overwhelming. Her initial post drew hundreds of comments, was shared more than 1,300 times and received more that 2,300 likes.

"People want Mulligan's," she said Monday. "There are plenty of places to eat in Belden Village, but not plenty of locally-owned restaurants."

The Swallens don't expect to make many changes when they reopen the restaurant, according to the post. They plan to keep the menu and hope to bring back some former employees.

Once open, the restaurant will honor past gift certificates. "In the big picture it will be worthwhile," Joanna Swallen said.

Swallen plans to have her sister, Kristina Rubio, serve as general manager. Both have worked in restaurants before, although not at Mulligan's. "We're pretty confident with what we're doing," she said.

While the initial Facebook post announcing the reopening suggested Mulligan's could be serving this weekend for St. Patrick's Day, that isn't likely to happen, Swallen said.

A lot is involved to prepare for the reopening, she said. It will take several weeks to prepare and bring in employees. There is an outside chance the restaurant could be open for Easter but mid-April is a more realistic time for a reopening, she said.

"I want to be ready," she said, adding that Mulligan's needs to be in good shape when customers return.

Briggs opened Mulligan's in 1981. The place proved popular and Briggs expanded to add space for hosting birthday parties, wedding and baby showers and other events. Through the years Mulligan's gained a name for serving great ribs, burgers, prime rib and stew.

Swallen said she was a customer at Mulligan's, although not a regular. She knew the restaurant's reputation for good food,as well as its decor. Those are the things customers liked, which is why she's not planning big changes.

Reach Edd at 330-580-8484 or edd.pritchard@cantonrep.com

On Twitter: @epritchardREP