Checkers was a North Buffalo institution, and when news came out of its closing last February, folks were understandably bummed about the uncertain future of a favorite Buffalo bar.

The Buffalo News reports the bar will reopen as JP's Checkers, under new owner Jamison Phillips, who "has been aggressive in his renovations, replacing the fixtures, freshening the exterior, adding a new grill, keg cooler and 16 draft lines."

Phillips, currently bartending at Del Denby's told The Buffalo News, "By the time we're done, people won't recognize the place. They'll be pleasantly surprised by it."

There's no word yet on an opening date, as Phillips is waiting for approval from the State Liquor Authority.