When news came that Jim's Restaurant would be shutting down in order to make room for Aldi, a supermarket chain, the popular diner's regulars were shocked. Campaigns to save the restaurant popped up on social media and local news outlets covered the emotional last day. Elena Knapp has owned Jim's for 14 years; she started there as a waitress, and purchased the restaurant when the owner moved on to another venture.
Knapp had opened a second location, Jim's Too, on Main Street while the Winton Road location was still open, but on December 20, 2014, a fire broke out and spread fast, causing the location to close for extensive repair. When Jim's on Winton closed its doors last May, Knapp, at one time managing two restaurants, found herself managing none. She and her staff were out of work for nine months before construction on Jim's on Main (785 East Main Street) was complete; she turned over the "Open" sign on February 24.
"We didn't tell anyone we were opening," Knapp says. "Every day more people found out." It's been a steady stream of regulars since then returning to a place where, like Cheers, everyone knows your name.
"I call it a family reunion," Knapp says. "I know everything about these people, their kids, their grandkids — your regulars really do become like your family." Photographs of Knapp's children and grandchildren line the walls of the renovated space, and her two daughters and son all work there.
The menu at Jim's on Main is the same as the one at the flagship location, with a few new additions. Breakfast is still available all day, and Knapp has added some more lunch and dinner options. The restaurant is only open until 3 p.m. during the week and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, but construction is happening on an apartment complex across the street and Knapp thought people might like to pick up dinner to go.
The breakfast menu is extensive and features the standard fare of eggs, pancakes, and omelets, like the appropriately named Bypass Omelet ($5.75) filled with ham, bacon, sausage, and cheese. Plenty of vegetarian options are available for both breakfast and lunch. And the menu features a variety of hot sandwiches, salads, and burgers.
"It's been a tough year, but it's time to put it away and move on to happier things," Knapp says.
Jim's on Main is located at 785 East Main Street, and is open Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parking is available in the Blackfriars Theatre lot next to the restaurant. 442-4172; jimsbreakfastlunch.com.
Mullers Cider House (1344 University Avenue) will celebrate its official grand opening on Friday, April 1, from 5 p.m. to midnight. The celebration will feature live music, food from Marty's Meats, and sweets from Upper Crust Bakery.
Easter falls on Sunday, March 27, and if you're interested in spending more time helping the kids hunt for Easter eggs — or eating all of the Cadbury Creme Eggs — and less time in the kitchen cooking dinner, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court Street) will have special Easter catering packages, including a Pit-Smoked Ham and a Leg of Lamb. Email email@example.com or call 325-9127 for more information.
Black Sheep (280 Exchange Boulevard) will host a Piranha Sushi pop-up on Friday, March 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Black Sheep owner Nicolas Grammatico is the former owner and chef of Piranha on Park Avenue, which closed in 2013. Popular dishes from Piranha's menu will be served. More information can be found at rocblacksheep.com.
Restaurant 2 Vine (24 Winthrop Street) will close on April 11 for renovations that will take approximately five weeks to complete. The restaurant will reopen with a more streamlined kitchen and a new bar and dining area, along with significant changes to the menu. The new menu will focus on small plates starting at a lower price point. Visit 2vine.com for updates.
Espada Brazilian Steak (274 North Goodman Street, in Village Gate) will close on Sunday, April 3, and that space in the spring will become the new home for the Gate House. A new restaurant will open in the Gate House's current location, but no further details have been announced.
Smashburger (190 Cobblestone Court) has opened in Victor. The burger chain has over 360 locations.
Mac's Philly Steaks (298 Exchange Boulevard) has opened a location in Corn Hill Landing.
The Pub by Wegmans (6600 Pittsford-Palmyra Road) has opened in the Perinton Wegmans.
Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.