Within minutes of posting Ian Munro's story that Jess' Lunch's downtown location had closed its doors, the comments on our Facebook page flowed like memories over a family dinner.
People wrote about the best burger they ever had or the "best dogs in town." They spun yarns about arguments in Greek and the tossing of hot dog buns during those arguments. They lamented the missing smell of the eatery's legendary "everything hot dogs" wafting through Court Square.
Ah, you could also see the smiles of the faces as commenters typed away — reliving fun days sitting at the counter or working behind it.
Yes, we're sad to see it go. We're sad to see any business close its doors downtown, but there's something a little more heart-wrenching about a business, nearly a century old, calling it quits, especially when that business still sports an old-school counter and the shared memories of sitting there and stuffing your face.
"I have to be with the family right now," said owner Angeliki Floros. "There was so much commitment with the restaurant business."
She's right. Owning your own business is tough, let alone running a restaurant. The hours stink, your hands are in everything and stress levels can go through the roof. Then there's the whole family-at-home aspect of taking on that career. This obviously wasn't an easy decision, and putting family first is always the right decision to make.
According to Floros, somebody sent the LLC an offer in June about the properties for the restaurant and the parking lot at 54 S. Main St., which the family also owns.
"It wasn't a real plan for us [to accept the deal], but it became a good opportunity," Floros said. "It was a good offer, and we couldn't turn it down."
That deal is still in the works.
Can't blame the family for that, but without Jess', downtown Harrisonburg just won't be the same.
"Jess' is always going to be in people's heart no matter what," Floros said.
She's right. Reading your memories online proved as much.