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Death of a restaurant, or was it murder?

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My family had restaurants our whole lives four of them over the years since 1942.
Some were 24 hour places and three of them were in downtown Columbus.
Small diners with low prices and get you in and out fast type places.

They always did well, very well, my dad hunted all over the world while my mom took care of the places and that's the way she and he wanted it.

When I took over the last one I had it for over ten years and we were very busy, we were the ones to beat in downtown Columbus.
It was hard, very hard, things would break, staff would not come in or was hard to find staff at any rate but we did have great times there and made money.

Many, many of our customers came in every day and the phone would ring all day long with carry outs.
We would get well over 100 carry outs a day.

Well I had to sell it as I needed another hernia operation my third and my mom had died so she was not around to talk my crazy sisters off the ledge and get them back to work without killing each other.
So I just gave up and still went out on top.

That was 14 years ago and now it is on it's last leg.
I watched over the years and just shook my head at what the new guy has done to it.
One by one he made stupid changes and lazy stuff that killed it, it was murder.

He first started buying the cheapest stuff he could find the food was bad, he would not even change trash bags so he could save money by emptying them into the larger can.
Repairs went undone, simple light bulbs were not replaced, the place is and was dirty.
His wife passed away and he just did not go in for a year, when my mom died we got one day off and for a year after that people would come in and say "how's Ida" my sisters were crap the rest of the day.

Even now he will just not come in on any given day and close, he does not tell the employees till they come to work and then they have to go home wasting the time they did to come in.

The new owner gave NONE of the employees a raise in the 14 years in fact I used to pay for their parking and he stopped doing that long ago so Vicky got a cut in pay by over a hundred dollars a month!
Vicky was the only person who went in to help the new guy open back up after his year off.

The place lived through our families health problems and deaths open, the many breakdowns open, blizzards,
the remodel of the alley, one time NOBODY came to work just my mom, Open, Open, Open.

So next time you read one of these stories of how the place was drove out of business by no fault of the owner take a closer look.

I hate to see it go, as my mom put it Jacks is like one of your children.
But then my dads name is on the door and the new guy had turned it into crap I don't wish to be linked to any more.


Sorry for your loss John. That sucks :(


Thanks Mike,

You know Mike it’s our loss, all of us lose when these places go down.

We loose our jobs the kind of jobs where you are family with the people you work with, I have known the waitress that is at jacks now my whole life since I was five!

We know their whole family, went to her mom’s funeral.

Her other kids and family members would come in to help when we were shorthanded.
Mel’s family did too.

So many people worked there for most of their lives, and there were other businesses that we dealt with that were small family type places as well.
We used them because they had the best product and service, we got to know them too!

The meat people had a girl named Catherine and she would call my mom every day for the meat order so they got to know each other that way only by phone, well one day my mom was having a heart attack and she told Catherine she was going to be in the hospital and asked her to help me with the meat order while she was gone and she did as she knew by heart what we got.

My mom then washed her feet and changed her clothes and THEN she called the ambulance for help.

The meat order came first you may notice.

My mom and Catherine met only once and my mom felt that Catherine may have thought my mom was not the person she felt she would meet; my mom was very good looking and did not show the beating the restaurant business gives people over the years.

ALL of those places are gone now Militellos meats , Cecutti bakery, Abbott foods, calif and sons, Z produce, Quality meats, and others, now their workers are gone.

Sure, there are other new places that came up after them but I can tell you this NONE of them was better than the ones before them, not even close.
The quality going down from each one.

I’m glad I got to live in that world for much of my life but it makes it hard to not live in that world where people and businesses gave their best and for the most part were family at the end of the day.

The old way was better.



Well, a new guy went into Jacks after the guy I sold it to went out owing lots in rent. The new guy was a person who had a very popular place in town so I thought he would make it work but no he did not last even a year.

But I would drive by and go in when it was open and look in when it closed.

So, one day I went by and it was GUTTED my heart sank to see that place that heck I grew up in bare to the walls it had not been like that since the building was built I know. But all the work putting that place in, the stain glass lights I made for the place, the seat my mom always sat in so she could see in the front and back of the place.

Gone, all gone.

So go to that old place you once loved as It may not be there that long. This pandemic has taken down a lot of great old places.

"So go to that old place you once loved as It may not be there that long. This pandemic has taken down a lot of great old places."

So true, but they don't even have to be that old anymore, as many of my faves have gone out in less than five years, over the last decade or so. And most of those were high quality, which probably had something to do with the lowest common denominator not supporting them sufficiently. And don't even get me started on bookstores...


"And don't even get me started on bookstores..."

Man, I do miss going to bookstores and listening to CDs and flipping through books. At least that way you could get an idea if ya want to buy them.

You used to get to know the people that worked at these places and that is just going away. IF there is a place you go to in person odds are you won't see the same workers stay a year or more in that same place.

Hamo posted on Tue, Aug 2, 2022 7:58 PM

For some reason, this video was recommended to my by YouTube, and for some other reason, it made me think of you, Skip:

How Thick Layers Of Restaurant Grease Are Cleaned


Damn Hamo just saw this post.

Ok so I got a story on this one.

That place they are cleaning has all the looks of a Chinese restaurant to me, just can't get that much grease without all that Chinese frying.

Had my hood cleaned and my guys did not even come close to doing all that they got on top of the four-story building and made a funnel like you see on that video at the bottom over the grill.

Then they sprayed the grease cutter stuff and the sprayed from the top down and pushed all that grease to the bottom, well to the flat part that ran about 75 feet or more and the flue on our vent was not so big you could reach into it.

Well all that did was push a bunch of grease closer to the grill to land in that flat spot, they said I needed to do this once a year it had been over ten since it was last done and ours looked no where near as dirty as the one you showed. They left a huge mess for me to clean around and on the grill area.

I told them I was NEVER going to do that again.

AND the filters over the hood, WOW why would they let those get so dirty, you just put those on the grill melt off the grease daily and then run filters through the dish washer.

Man it's like a ten-minuet job. the inside of our hood even looked clean.

Our grill was out front you could not let people see that as they ate at the counter.

They stole my fire extinguisher it was a old cool one, plus these guys had grease under their skin it was like part of them, man they were dirty.

And this was the big company in town, so it was not just some Hillbillys I go to clean it.

Ok so it was Hillbillys that some big company got to clean it.

Cool video though.

[ Edited by tikiskip on 2022-09-28 15:55:05 ]


Skip, I hear ya about visiting the old places. I took up pipe smoking awhile back. I figured I frequent some local tobacco shops to get my pipe tobacco. Well turns out all the local “tobacco” shops are nothing more than pot pipe and vape pen shops. Went to one shop that was supposed to be old school. The owner told me no one smokes a pipe anymore so I happily walked back out the door. I finally found Paul’s Pipe Shop in Flint Michigan. I made the 260 mile round trip and was glad I did! When the shop opened the Flint city fathers said it wouldn’t last a year. That was 94 years ago. This shop is OLD SCHOOL COOL! Literally thousands of pipe and hundreds of tobacco choices. The original owners son greeted me at the door and he is in his 90s. I bought a pipe that he made in shop and some hand blended tobacco. Dan was a great host and we talked for a long time. Places like Paul’s are gems and the last of a rare breed that I hope can hold on. Folks, visit those local shops and keep them running.


That's great Trav. We talked to a guy who I think was the owner of an apple farm here Lunds, man it is HUGE.

But in that short talk we learned so much about apples, did you know that apples grow much better if the land they grow on is near big lakes or other bodies of water.

He said the land will cost much more there for this reason and I'm not talking about lake front just near is more costly for the better growing conditions.

There is a TV show called Cycling around Japan and these guys just ride around Japan that is really beautiful, but they stop into a few shops and ask what they are doing and the care and pride that the people put into the things they make/grow and services they provide you learn a lot from this show and it's fun to watch.

The guy stopped and talked to these two very old ladies and asked how long they had known each other and stuff like that at the end the one lady said, " I can die happy now that I have met you" Ha! now that is funny!

Just simple day to day life stuff like that.

Cycle Around Japan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnCCItZRF4M

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