Local Favorite Reopens in Holly Springs

By Amanda Compton-Ortiz

When customers walk into the newly reopened JB’s Restaurant in Holly Springs they are in for a surprise.
According to employee Jackie Lewis, watching the popular cafe come back into its own after being destroyed by a massive fire earlier this year has been exciting.
“It’s entirely different,” said Lewis, who is in her seccond year of employment at the restaurant. “It looks great. The whole ambiance is better than it was before and everything is new and upscale.”
The restaurant closed in early June after the building at 135 East Van Dorn Avenue caught fire caused by electrical issues.
The restaurant has been open for one week today at its new location at Suites 111 and 115 East Van Dorn Avenue, just one block away from its former spot in the city’s historic downtown square.
Lewis had been employed at the restaurant just one year when she witnessed the fire that started just before doors opened for business at 7 a.m.
She is one of the better part of 12 employees who have returned to work at the restaurant, all keeping their focus on the positive side of the tragic event during which no one was hurt but that took firefighters nearly three hours to control.
“Just about everything inside the restaurant was lost in the fire,” Lewis said. “Everyone just wants to see the restaurant up and running normally again, and I think that will happen soon.”
The restaurant is well known for its family-friendly, down home style, serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner and featuring a full-service bar.
And now, Lewis said, it offers private dining too.
“This is something we didn’t have before,” she said.
Lewis also cited the restaurant’s new, fresh look as an added attraction for regular customers as well as newcomers.
“The old location was already decorated and furnished to fit the previous owner’s taste,” she said. “Everything had just gotten old and dated. Here, everything is new and it’s ours.
“Now when customers walk in they are saying ‘Wow!’ because they are expecting to see the old look.”
According to the Mayor’s office in Holly Springs, state fire officials have deemed the cafe’s old building that was constructed in the 1800s to be too high of a risk to reoccupy at this time as the structure’s interior and much of its exterior was almost completely destroyed by the fire.
The restaurant had been serving customers there for the last decade after opening its business nearly 15 years ago at its original location at the Days Inn motel in Holly Springs.
JB’s owner John Boone, whom the restaurant is named after, said the restaurant’s new location was taken over by the restaurant on the same day of the fire on June 8 when the former cup cake shop owner there decided she wanted to operate her business from home.
“It was just lucky,” Boone said about the new business venture. “She moved out and we moved in.”
In the last six months while rebuilding the restaurant, Boone said the wall that seperated the two suites was knocked down to become one large, open space and is comparable to the size and layout of the old location.
He said only some minor cosmetic work is left to be done in the restaurant’s new dishwashing area located in the back of the building and is expected to be completely finished in about two weeks.
“I think it will come back,” Boone said about the future of the restaurant’s business. “We are open now and already serving customers again.
“Several Christmas parties have also been booked and we’re still catering. I think the future looks good for us.”