This hole-in-the-wall diner, now with a literal hole in the wall, hasn’t lost its flow and rhythm after its short hiatus. The phrase, “the best things come in small packages,” was made for a diner like Jack’s Cafe. With only six booths, a few tables, thirteen bar stools and a kitchen all packed into a tight space, Jack’s gets rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on Facebook and is always overflowing with satisfied customers.
Almost everyone on campus is familiar with this legendary eatery; however, it’s not just a retreat for college students wanting a quick bite with friends between classes or a cure for a hangover. Locals of all ages, tourists, families, old and young couples, as well as the Sunday church-goer and the Friday night drunk all find sanctuary at Jack’s.
More than a place to find low-key folk music and great food, this hot commodity located on George Street provides an authentic, enjoyable and easy-going aura. The unique quality of Jack’s is one that stands out in Charleston: consumed by high-end, fast-paced restaurants. The servers weave in and out of the constant flow of customers — dropping off food, refilling waters, pouring coffees and cleaning off tables without hesitation, even after weeks of not being in the familiar, chaotic scene. Even more notable, however, the staff takes time to create an environment that draws people in and keeps them coming back for more by conversing and laughing with everyone that walks through the plexiglass door.
Jack’s Cafe is a hidden treasure in the midst of downtown where the fries were described by a customer as being “the best in town” and “better than dorm food – for sure.” If that doesn’t impress the average restaurant goer, Jack’s is also a place where it is normal to find customers taking home leftover breakfast food or ordering cheeseburgers to go. Jack’s is a favorite spot where the cook cracks jokes with customers and staff while effortlessly flipping eggs, burgers and pancakes all at once.
Like The Gilmore Girls have Luke’s Diner, and Hogwarts students have The Three Broomsticks, Chucktown and the College of Charleston students have Jack’s Cafe. So, whether you’ve been a local of Charleston for multiple years, a tourist wandering through the streets of downtown, a College student or faculty finally done with a day of classes or a group of friends looking for a late night meal, hop into the small but mighty diner that always greets you with a genuine welcome and food that will make your mouth-water just thinking about it…be right back, now I have to head to Jack’s for a milkshake and fries.