Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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June 12, 2013

Constant Spring changing hands

GOSHEN — Jason Oswald opened Constant Spring on one of the biggest bar days of the year.

But if everything goes to plan, he’ll hand over the reins to the bar, 219 S. Main St., Monday without much fanfare.

Oswald bought the location, formerly the bar Ricky’s II, and spent almost a year repairing and preparing it for a St. Patrick’s Day 2006 opening.

Since then the bar has been, according to Oswald, “Just what Goshen was looking for.”

And after breaking the news this week that there will be a change in ownership to regulars and staff, the response has been generally positive.

Oswald sold the bar to regulars Aaron and Kendra Nafziger.

“They’ve been regulars here since they turned 21,” said Oswald of the new owners.

And because of the Nafziger’s affinity for the bar, Oswald doesn’t expect wholesale changes.

Oswald had no real plans to sell his place but he had been thinking about it. The offer from the Nafziger’s came out of the blue.

But after mulling it over, Oswald decided he was ready to try something else.

Aaron Nafziger, 26, left a career as a financial adviser to take over Constant Spring.

“Basically I was looking for other things to do in life, things I’m passionate about. And I’m passionate about food and drink. And being able to sell positive experiences.”

Nafziger said he has no major changes in mind.

“It’s pretty much a well-oiled machine,” said Nafziger of Constant Spring.

The new owner said he’d also like to keep as much staff as possible since they help create the Constant Spring experience.

Nafziger said Oswald will spend a couple of weeks on board to help with the transition.

As for his wife Kendra, a director with Mary Kay, she won’t be involved much in the day-to-day operations.

The bar has grown to be a hub for locals and out-of-towners alike looking for an interesting and dynamic menu to go with a bevy of craft beers. The free popcorn is also well-received.

“It’s the Cheers of Goshen if you will,” said Nafziger.

“(Constant Spring) is a lot of what got Goshen going downtown,” said Nafziger.” I’m really excited to be part of all the great things associated with having a downtown business”

While Nafziger looks ahead, Oswald isn’t much for looking back.

He couldn’t point to one certain moment or event as a highlight of his seven-plus years of ownership.

“I’m just proud of how well its been accepted,” said Oswald.

While Oswald will continue to serve as the building’s landlord, he has yet to develop any concrete plans post-Constant Spring.

Oswald grew up in Emma and, after spending some years away while his family served on missions trips, has lived in Goshen for the past 20 years. He graduated from Bethany Christian High School.

He said he’s not sure if he’ll stay in the area.

In the meantime, Oswald will step a way from a business he admits can be extremely trying.

“Right now the only plans I have are to mow my yard and take a nap.”

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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