Couple gambling on casino idea in PO
June 12, 2008 · Updated 1:20 PM
"Residents of Port Orchard will have an outlet for their gambling urges if all goes well for Henry and Karen O'Sullivan. The Belfair couple proposes to take their business idea, Blackjack Creek Restaurant, Lounge and Casino, onto Bay Street to be built in the West Bay shopping center.The O'Sullivans will submit a permit application to the Port Orchard Planning Commission (which will later make a recommendation to the Port Orchard City Council on the matter) on April 23 in hopes of beginning work on the venture as soon as possible.It has to go up before the commissioners, said Henry O'Sullivan. We just have to see what happens. O'Sullivan was inspired to start a casino in Port Orchard because of the success of he and his wife's other business, Hank's Country Inn, a 20-year-old popularly frequented restaurant and casino in Belfair.We have a casino out here, said O'Sullivan. Port Orchard's a growing area, and that's why we wanted to open there.Also, O'Sullivan says a great percentage of his customers at Hank's are coming from Port Orchard.We figure we have about 35 percent (from Port Orchard already), he said.According to O'Sullivan, the new business will have features such 13 blackjack tables, games like Carribean Stud and Let it Ride, a poker room with two poker tables, and a pull-tab bar.The casino portion of the business will be limited to those 21 and older due to alcohol being served in that area. The building is projected at 11,000 square feet and will house a 24-hour restaurant. Blackjack Creek will also boast round-the-clock security.It (will be) heavily patroled and secured, said O'Sullivan. It's what you'd call a safe atmosphere. A snack bar will be available in the casino, with foods like foot-long hot dogs and shrimp cocktail on the menu.For the most part, the O'Sullivans have received a great deal support for their idea for Blackjack Creek, and think they might have another hit on their hands.We've been in the casino business for a while, said O'Sullivan. Ours is a great clientele.In addition to adding more entertainment and bringing another name to downtown Port Orchard's business corridor, Blackjack Creek will also bring jobs to the area.It's going to have over 100 people hired, said O'Sullivan. Among the positons needed are dealers, waiters, floor managers, security, survailance, bartenders and hostesses. O'Sullivan thinks Blackjack Creek will appeal to many different types of people in Port Orchard.We have all age groups here, said O'Sullivan. We target all groups that are over 21. It's a group that doesn't want hassles or problems. It'll be all kinds of people.If all goes according to plan, Blackjack Creek Restaurant, Lounge and Casino will be in action anywhere up to six months from now. Does Henry O'Sullivan have high hopes for the success of this business, one of the first casinos in the Port Orchard area to date?Oh yes, we hope it is (sucessful), said O'Sullivan. We're just hoping the Port Orchard people are ready. "