While Kish and I were up in Maine, I got some unfortunate news from Columbus: the Scotsman shared a Columbus Underground article announcing that Jack’s Diner would be serving its last meal on Thursday or Friday. That meant I’ve missed the chance to grab the double cheeseburger special — with crinkle-cut fries and a chocolate milkshake, made with real milk and real ice cream, pictured above — for one last time.
Jack’s, located in Lynn Alley only a block from the Ohio Statehouse, has been a downtown dining staple since 1942. It’s been a fixture in the lunch rotation for me and many other Vorys lawyers ever since I started at the firm in the ’80s. You always saw the same regulars perched on the counter stools and in the booths at Jack’s, and everyone seemed to have their own favorite order from the unchanging menu and daily specials that offered classic American diner fare. Some of the wait staff had worked there for years, and they would remember your face and your order. It was a special place that always made you feel like home.
According to the Columbus Underground article, the demise of Jack’s was caused by the ever-ongoing construction around the Rhodes Tower, with its dark, looming scaffolding that has interrupted vehicle and pedestrian traffic. If that is the real cause, it’s a ridiculously high price to pay for an ugly, featureless modern office tower. Joints like Jack’s don’t come around every day.