Business news from the Fredericksburg region.

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Golf-themed eatery is re-opening


PEOPLE WHO LIVE near a recently shuttered Spotsylvania County sports bar have been walking by to see when their local gathering place will reopen.

New owners Shakimah Torres and her fiancé, Daren Washington, say they hope to get the ABC license for Hackers N Duffers in time to relaunch the golfing-themed restaurant at 4532 Plank Road on June 1.

It’s one of two new businesses the couple plans to open next month. The other is The Washington Academy, a day care center that will be in a former law office in front of Spotsylvania Towne Centre. The building was originally a Dawning Point day care center.

Torres and Washington, who have three children ages 9 to 15, had been planning The Washington Academy for about a year before spotting an ad for Hackers N Duffers on Craigslist and Loopnet, an online site specializing in commercial property.

Torres, a federal worker who’s always dreamed of owning a jazz club, pounced at the chance to buy the turnkey operation and rent its building, which is behind a Sakura Japanese Steak and in Roswalt Business Park.

“I’m going to change it just a little,” she said.

Torres and Washington, a Marine who’s worked in mess halls, plan to tweak Hackers N Duffers’ simple menu of appetizers, salads and sandwiches, and add dinner entrees—something former customers have told the couple they’d like to see. A children’s menu, available until about 8 p.m, is another possibility, Torres said.

She and her fiancé also plan to add jazz during the evening but will keep the indoor golf simulators that helped inspire the sports bar’s name. Customers will be able bring their own clubs and play virtual versions of many well-known courses.

“I haven’t figured out how I’m going to do it, but I want to turn it into a classy bar one day,” Torres said.

The couple got the idea for The Washington Academy after seeing the need for a good day care center for their children in the Fredericksburg area. They bought the building next to the Chili’s on State Route 3 and hired Erika Jackson, who has more than 15 years’ experience in the educational field, as director. Several of the six teachers are fluent in Spanish and will teach children the language.

The day care center will offer programs targeted to different age groups, on-site swimming lessons by a certified instructor, and a 12-week summer program that will include a variety of field trips. Before- and after-school drop-off and pickup also will be available.

A contact form for The Washington Academy is available on its website,

Washington will help run Hackers N Duffers, but Torres plans to keep her job as a security manager at the Pentagon for now. The couple’s goal is for the two businesses and some other investments to provide enough income so she can quit her government job in three years and they can spend more time with their blended family.

“We don’t want to have to work until we’re 65 years old,” said Torres, who at 32 is 12 years younger than Washington. “We want to enjoy our children. They’re growing up so fast.

Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407