Vote for your favorite downtown restaurant at DowntownColumbus.com & show
them your love! Feb. 2 through Feb. 17, 2009
Thanks to the hundreds of you who cast your vote for your favorite downtown eatery.
While it looks like every restaurant in downtown got votes, there is one clear winner for
Downtown's Favorite Lunch Spot for 2009:
Jack's Downtown Diner
Jack's Downtown Diner decisive victory has earned them bragging rights as downtown's
favorite lunch spot for 2009. Owner Chris Kowalski shares his keys to success in this
Right Now Downtown blog post. You can also view Jack's debut video in case you
missed it here.
|52 E. Lynn Street Columbus, OH 43215
Phone us your carry-out order! 614-224-3655
|© Copyright 2009 Jack's Sandwich Shop All Rights Reserved
The city's best not-so-secret treasures
A Classic Downtown Diner with Classic Prices to Match
Jack's Sandwich Shop
52 E. Lynn St., Downtown
Years ago, Jack's occupied a space at 222. N. High St., a locale
that likely attracted more casual foot traffic than its current perch in
the alley between Broad and Gay streets. But those who find
themselves in front of the diner's glass front fall in love with the
rotating holiday kitsch, intimate seating, in-your-face grill and, of
course, the anachronistic disco ball shining on both counter and
Owners Chris and Kathy Kowalski claim to "keep things simple," and
that motto translates most clearly in the lineup of diner favorites
populating the menu.
Hamburgers, double hamburgers, fried fish, French fries and other no-nonsense fare can be enjoyed with sides (slaw
is popular) for around $5.
Regular specials, announced on the website and on a small board in the alley, include: pot roast, chicken parmesan
sandwiches, liver and onions and chicken pot pie. Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, it's the perfect
reason to ditch your vegetarian friends and find an alternative from the normal fast-food lunch break.
December 14, 2006
Copyright © 2006 Columbus Alive, Inc. All rights reserved.
While we only placed 6th this year, it was an honor to even be nominated. Thanks to all of you who voted for Jack's!
Click on the CITY'SBEST2007 Logo to see all the winners!
FIRST PLACE! BEST BURGER IN COLUMBUS, AOL CityGuide 2006! Thanks to all of you who voted for Jack's!
Click on the CITY'SBEST2006 Logo to see the 2007 winners!
FiRST PLACE! BEST DINER IN COLUMBUS, AOL CityGuide 2005! Thanks to all of
you who voted for Jack's! This one wasn't even close! 2005 was the final year for
the BEST DINER category. We're not sure, but we suspect it was because no-one
even comes close to surpassing us now or in the future;-)
Click on the CITY'S BEST 2005 Logo to see the 2007 winners!
|Click on the ALIVE Link above to see the
original article on ALIVE's website!
Viewers Poll, NBC4 Columbus
"the perfect reason to ditch your vegetarian friends and find an alternative
from the normal fast-food lunch break."
John Ross, Columbus Alive Magazine
There are few things that can make dining on classic American food, like
cheeseburgers, milkshakes, sub sandwiches, meatloaf, etc., better. One of those
things is a disco ball. Get yourself down to Jack's and see if it ain't the case.
Something about the swirly little spots of light makes the meal feel a little happier,
and it's hard to be happier than when you're sitting in front of a freshly-grilled
Double Cheeseburger and Hand Dipped Milkshake ($7.00). Isn't it?!? Be happy
a while then mosey back to work.
C The Columbus Magazine Page 18, August 2005
(Click the picture to the left to see the article as it was printed.)
"Hand-dipped ice cream can put the a la mode in your dessert, or be swirled
into an old-fashioned milkshake so thick that your straw will pucker."
Nancy Ray, AOL CityGuide Editor
"Downtown Dining Dynasty... Reminiscent of your Grandma's kitchen"
Nancy Ray, AOL CityGuide Editor
Days are consistent at Jack's Diner: quiet mornings, an afternoon rush, familiar faces coming in to gab. Chris Kowalski
likes the routine. "People know that they're going to get the same quality, the same thing," said Kowalski, who owns
Jack's with wife Kathy. "It's the constant, same thing."
Jack's is tucked away along the red-brick alley of E. Lynn Street, where it has been since the mid-1970s. The Kowalskis
bought the place almost four years ago from the Holt family, which owned the original Jack's on High Street more than 50
years ago. The menu is the same: comfort food -- cheeseburgers, meatloaf, french fries, milkshakes, fried fish.
Most of the waitresses are decade-long veterans. And the decor? Kowalski spruced things up a bit but not too much.
How else to explain the disco ball? The previous owners hung that up in the '70s. It's still there, spraying little beams of
light onto customers seated at the long countertop or the row of booths.
"A lot of people who have worked Downtown in the '70s and early '80s come in here," Kowalski said, "and it's still the
same." The cheeseburger ($4.40) and double cheeseburger ($5.50 with a soft drink, $7 with a shake) are big draws.
The counter is the hub. Kowalski, 39, works the grill behind it; the waitresses serve customers around it.
A man made his way into Jack's one day last week -- a regular, it seemed. "You back for more torture today?" a waitress
asked. "Yeah, I couldn't go anywhere else," he said. "It's too hot out." He laughed and ordered a cheeseburger and a
The food comes quickly, but customers can hang around or hustle out. Kowalski grills a lean but tasty burger.
The thick milkshake is the type that a diner sips for 20 seconds to get a mouthful. The folks at Jack's update the Web
site each Sunday with the week's specials -- a small concession to the present.
When he bought the place, Kowalski considered a revamp. The veteran of culinary school and the Columbus club scene
had spent more than 10 years as a cook. Tradition won. "It worked," he said. "If it works, don't break it."
June 12, 2008
Copyright © 2008 The Columbus Dispatch
|Andy McCullough, Dispatch
Good old days more than a memory
Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:08 AM
By ANDY McCULLOUGH
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Chris Kowalski, Owner