Spotlight on Business: Sporty’s & Tom’s Lounge adds Shuttle Service

The state of North Dakota has more bars and lounges per capita than any other state in the country.


Posted on 3/1/14

By Lee Coleman

Theoretically, that could increase the number of drivers on the road that have been drinking.

Locally, Jesse Johnson, the owner of Sporty’s Bar and Tom’s Lounge, is doing his part to help alleviate this potential problem.

Now in its third week, Johnson has created a Shuttle Service for patrons of his bars within a 5-mile radius of the establishments.

For $5 each way, the shuttle will pick up patrons at their home and take them home after the night has ended.

“There has always been kind of a need for it,” Johnson said. “We just didn’t know what it would cost or take to get one going.”

Now, the shuttle is operating with a six-seater 2002 Ford Windstar van. The van runs on Thursday through Saturday from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m.

“Langdon is big enough when it is in the middle of dead winter, it is pretty cold to walk from one end to another,” Johnson continued. “We looked at our customers, the weather we have up here and the size of the town and thought people could use a lift.

“We encourage people to use the shuttle if they have had too much to drink.”

In the first two weeks, Johnson said the shuttle service has been coming together.

“It has been going pretty good,” he said. “It is starting to build a little interest as we go here.”

“Last weekend was good and we’re getting some positive feedback. We’ll continue on as long as we can. It seems to be working itself out pretty good.”

As a point of policy, patrons will be picked up and/or dropped off only. The shuttle drivers cannot make any side stops during business hours.

“We’re trying to keep it from a person’s home here and back,” Johnson explained. “We need to keep the flow of the van going in case we get busy.

“We can’t just be escorting people all over town. If someone comes in and has a big night and runs the risk of getting behind the wheel of a car, we’ll get them home.”

To utilize the shuttle service, call 701-256-0116.