Jess and Jim’s opened for business in April of 1938, by two best friends, Jess Kincaid and Jim Wright. They started the business at 135th and Holmes Road as a small bar and grill, and the tornado in 1957 moved them to their present location on 135th Street in the heart of Martin City. Although the restaurant was considered far south of the city, they believed good food, good service, and fair prices would make the drive worthwhile. It appears they were right.
Jess left the business after starting a family, leaving Jim to run the business alone. Jim hired his cousin, R.C. Van Noy to work nights and host and manage the dining room. This worked well, Jim in the kitchen and R.C. in the dining room. In 1972, Calvin Trillin wrote an article in Playboy Magazine that brought Jess & Jim’s Steakhouse national fame (the “Playboy” steak is named after it).
Jess, Jim, and R.C. have all passed, and R.C.’s sons, Mike and David Van Noy now own and operate Jess & Jim’s Steakhouse and RC’s Restaurant (across the street). Mike and David’s children are currently being groomed to be the fourth generation to take over the family business!
Jess & Jim’s Steakhouse is celebrating their 75th Birthday this year! To commemorate the birthday, they are hosting a 75 oz Steak Challenge. The rules are you must eat an entire 75oz steak AND twice baked potato, salad, beets, and toast in order to win. Time to start stretching your stomachs!