Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lewisburg WV Restaurateur Steve Jackendoff The Owner Of "Julian's" Hangs Up His Apron

If you never made the trip to Julian's in Lewisburg, you really missed out. Julian's was the go to location for Greenbrier Guests looking for something beyond the fabulous Greenbrier Resort Food.

From Charleston's Saturday Gazette Mail:

Stephen "Steve" Jackdendoff operated Julian's restaurant in downtown Lewisburg for 22 years. Now he says its time to do something else while he still can. "We did an awful lot of business but I think it was time to move on," Jackdendoff said.

Steve Jackdendoff doing what he has always done, red wine in hand and chatting with guests.

Julian's served its last meals on September 11, and was sold in an auction to a new owner on September 14.

Jackdendoff, 68, said the restaurant provided him a great life. He traveled the world and ate and drank well all while serving good food to his friends. He started thinking about leaving the restaurant business a few years ago.

Once his decision was made, he put the two-story building with an upstairs apartment on the market. "After waiting six months and no one seems interested I decided to do something different," Jackdendoff said. "I decided it was time for an auction."

Tommy Garten of Greenways Real Estate & Auction ran Julian's auction. Garten thought it was a good sale.

"I thought it was a very fair price for both the buyer and the seller," Garten said. The property had a 5 percent buyer's premium and sold for $157,500. Garten said that the property needs some repair work.

I'm fairly happy that I was able to sell and pay all my bills," Jackdendoff said. Jackdendoff saw Lewisburg's growth first hand from Julians. When he opened, there were only three restaurants, but there were 10 when he closed.

"That('s) a little harder competition," he said.

Before closing Julian's, Jackdendoff, tried to thank as many customers as possible. He wants to thank any he missed, especially frequent Charleston customers.

He even recalls serving third generation customers. Neither Jackdendoff nor Garten know what will happen with the property now. "Who knows, we might open another one," Jackdendoff added.

1 comment:

Jeff A. Taylor said...

In weird way reminds me of a joint next to the Four Seasons in Nevis. Sunny ran (still runs?) Sunshine's, a hut with picnic tables, cold Carib, and potent rum drink called the Killer Bee made out of honey, nutmeg, and ton of rum -- mixed in huge plastic barrels. On the beach, no floor just sand, and one kid cooking on a single beat up propane-fueled range in the back. All the burners jacked, Sunny yelling at him the whole time to hurry up -- hurry up with absolutely great Caribbean fare. Heaping plates of fish or chicken, spicy, but cut with the right amount of fresh veggies and rice. I had wondered in one afternoon tired of the resort scene and thrilled that the beers were $2 not $7. One table over a large black guy was barking at the staff to keep the table tops clean in between bites of his lunch, a steaming heap of something on a light blue plate. "Sorry, I have to keep on top of them. I'm Sunny. Your first time here?" Yes. "Welcome. What have you heard about us?" Uh, that the chicken is good. "Here, try the fish." With that he slid his plate over to the edge of his table. I had no choice but to hop over and dig in. Very good, I told him -- and it was, obviously very fresh fish prepared by an experienced hand. "See? Best on the island." He waved his hand and another plate materialized for him, which also told me I'd better finish his first plate. He asked me where I was from and I told him DC and he started telling me about all the Beltway royalty who come down, get drunk, and make idiots of themselves. He had a particularly graphic story about a former DC area college basketball coach who got stupid, passed out pantsless on the beach, and only woke up when a stray dog happened by to lick his junk. I told him that DC was worse than he could imagine in terms of powerful people doing dumb stuff and getting away with it. This really seemed to surprise Sunny. Guess he was used to people acting shocked or in denial or not backing up his experience that elites can behave horribly. After a steady flow of Caribs, he declared, "You need to try a Killer Bee." I tried to beg off, but after watching his guys haul ice and barrels and crazy amounts of rum to get ready for the evening, I couldn't say no. So basically straight rum in an ice packed plastic cup, honey tinged, with bits of nutmeg floating in it. Tremendous kick. Halfway thru, an honest to Jah Rasta came thundering up the beach on a horse -- bareback, shirtless, shoeless, in shorts -- popped off came inside, had a short animated talk with one of Sunny's guys, went thundering back from whence he came. I seriously thought I was hallucinating at this point. I finished the Killer Bee and asked Sunny what I owed him. "Nothing. You come back tonite." And that was that. And I did, we did. And it was glorious. Drink, food, fun, music. Universal.