Jamestown bar and grill to be featured on America’s Best Restaurant Roadshow
4 Below Haggy’s Bar and Grill, one of Jamestown’s newer restaurants, will be featured on an upcoming episode of America’s Best Restaurant Roadshow.
The restaurant, located at 104 East Second Street, opened on Nov 13, 2019, and was shut down because of COVID six months later, reopening in June 2020. There are currently 16 people employed there, including the owner, Eric Hagglund, sometimes known as Haggy.
Hagglund began his career in food at a few other locations in Jamestown such as Tyson Foods, before opening his own restaurant.
“I had a lot of good ideas that I used to tell the customers, and then I decided to use those ideas myself after they kept working for them,” Hagglund said. “I began looking at buildings and closed on this one in April 2019 and then we began renovations.”
With their third year anniversary approaching, Hagglund said his restaurant has had and continues to have a focus on family.
“I named it Haggy’s because that was my grandpa’s nickname,” Hagglund said. “Then, it was my dad’s nickname, and now mine, and my daughter is Haggy Junior. I work hard and am so successful because of them, and my employees who are also like family.”
Hagglund credits his success to his family of employees, one of whom he helped with a breast cancer benefit after their diagnosis, and all of whom he made an effort to bring back when they reopened after Covid.
“I was okay with losing some money by doing that because I knew they needed the work because they needed to be able to pay rent and afford to live,” Hagglund said. “I also have three employees that have been with me since the beginning, including my chef, Tom Mason and kitchen manager, Mary Mouser.”
4 Below Haggy’s Bar and Grill ended up being featured in America’s Best Restaurant Roadshow because the assistant executive producer reached out.
“The assistant executive producer of the show was tasked to do a restaurant in Jamestown and Fredonia because they would be in the area as they were going to a chicken wing festival in Buffalo,” Hagglund said. “They googled us and saw our Facebook and website and the work we were doing and reached out to me. They wanted to help get the word out about us.”
Following this Hagglund had a Zoom call with the producers where he told them his story, including his having severe dyslexia at a young age.
“Of course this was about 35 years ago, and no one knew what to do about dyslexia back then,” Hagglund said. “They just thought I was stupid and couldn’t read. I got told I would be lucky to become a ditch digger. So, my mom being the kind of person she was, found special classes for me at the University in Fredonia, and I learned how to read.”
Living with dyslexia has led Hagglund to push for what he wants to do.
“I don’t let people tell me what I can and can’t do,” Hagglund said. “I try to pass this along to my daughter, Ireland. She is going to be an underwater welder, which is typically a male-dominated industry. So, I passed this idea along to her as well.”
After telling them his story, the marketing team reached out and set up a time to film. They will be at the restaurant on Sept. 2 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Hagglund said he was flattered to be the restaurant chosen in Jamestown by the show.
“There are a lot of great restaurants around the Jamestown area,” Hagglund said. “I feel very blessed that they picked me. I’m friends with a lot of the other restaurant owners around here, because that’s the type of community it is. They have expressed how proud they are that we are the ones getting featured. The show is going to spread light on Jamestown as well, not just us, so this helps everybody, not just me.”
What Hagglund is most excited about having shown in the show is 4 Below’s food.
“I’m excited because food is a very big passion of mine,” Hagglund said. “We have special food that we make here as well, and we have about ten to fifteen items on the special board. This also changes every week, where most restaurants tend to keep it the same, so we’re unique on that front too.”
While filming is set for Sept. 2, Hagglund does not yet know when the episode will air.
“There will be filming, an interview with me, and then some patron interaction,” Hagglund said. “Then they will put it all together and send it back to me to make sure I like it or to see if there’s something that I think needs edited. Then it will be shown sometime after all that is done.”
Hagglund thanked the city of Jamestown and its people for their support over the years which was able to lead to this opportunity.
“I would like to thank Jamestown and the public and my regular patrons for their support,” Hagglund said. “Without them I wouldn’t really have anything. I would also like to thank my employees who come to work on a regular basis. We would not be as successful as we are without them.”