SACRAMENTO – One of Sacramento's most iconic restaurants is back open, now under the leadership of a beloved local restauranteur.
Jim Denny's has sat virtually unchanged for more than 80 years on its corner of Downtown Sacramento near 12th Street and Terminal Way. Despite its tiny size, Jim Denny's fostered an extra-large reputation – culminating in an appearance on the Travel Channel's "Man vs Food" show in 2010.
However, Jim Denny's previous owners decided to close the restaurant just before the pandemic in January 2020, citing rising rent and minimum wage as compounding factors.
The diner didn't stay dead for long.
N'Gina Guyton, formerly of the Sacramento soul food spot South, announced earlier in 2023 that she'd be taking over the historic restaurant.
A soft opening was held earlier in September and now Jim Denny's is back open Wednesdays through Sundays.
Riffs on burgers, hot dogs, salads, and fries make up the bulk of the menu.
"If Jim was 47 years old, like myself, today in the Sacramento restaurant community, how would he reimagine his own restaurant?" said Guyton. "So that's kind of where I've taken my inspiration."
Aside from classic American diner-style hamburgers, there are also some more modern options like the "No Cheat Days" portobello mushroom sandwich and a side of fried cauliflower.
"You're going home full," Guyton said.
For the moment, the oversized pancakes that Adam Richman had trouble conquering are not on the menu (and Jim Denny's isn't even open during breakfast hours right now).
The 10-seat counter is also still there, but there's also now a new patio outside.
"We've got so many plans going into the spring," Guyton said.
Jim Denny's is open Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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