Jake’s owners Carl and Shaun Stevens.
Feel like pancakes at midnight? How about a Philly cheese steak at 8 a.m.?
There is only one place on St. John to go for both early-morning and late-night cravings — Jake’s.
The restaurant, upstairs at the Lumberyard in the old Chilly Billy’s location, is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 4 a.m. and serves up its entire menu the whole time. That means breakfast all day and night, as well as their selection of burgers, sandwiches, wraps and salads.
If those hours don’t get one in their perennially open doors, the price and quality of the food surely will. Prices at Jake’s range from $16 for a juicy eight-ounce steak and eggs to $10 chicken sandwiches. But beyond the affordable prices, everything on the menu is freshly made to order.
When Shaun and Carl Stevens closed the doors on their Cruz Bay late-night haunt the Front Yard, they wasted no time in opening Jake’s. Named after the couple’s son, who was just a year old when they first opened in May 2008, the restaurant is based on good food for an affordable price.
“They were knocking down the Front Yard building and we had to go,” said Carl Stevens.
“We asked ourselves, ‘What next,’” said Shaun Stevens. “We weren’t sure whether to stay here, go back to the states, go to work somewhere else or what.”
Then the upstairs at the Lumberyard became available and the couple had their answer.
“We figured the island needed a few inexpensive alternatives to the fine dining scene,” said Shaun Stevens. “There aren’t many places where you can come and have a full sit down dinner for under $20. It’s not super fancy, but it’s really good.”
“You need some place to go for breakfast at 2 p.m. or 2 a.m.,” said Carl Stevens. “When we were doing the Front Yard, we woke up late and I could never get breakfast anywhere in the afternoon. Plus we’re carrying on the Front Yard tradition with the late nights.”
While literally everything on the menu is good, some items simply can not be missed. Of the breakfast offerings, the corned beef hash is a huge hit. With the corned beef slow roasted for 13, then tossed with Jake’s spiced home fries and served up with two eggs and toast, it’s not a surprise that it’s one of the most popular items on the menu.
Other breakfast choices include a scrumptious burrito brimming with eggs, home fries, tomato and cheese, fluffy Belgian waffles and cinnamon spiced French toast.
On the lunch and dinner side of things, a favorite dish at Jake’s is Philly cheese steak.
“We’ve had people from Philly come in and say it’s better than Pat’s,” said Carl Stevens.
With thinly sliced beef, onion and bell peppers smothered in a Swiss and American cheese blend on a toasted roll, it’s draw is no surprise. Other favorites include a chicken, bacon and ranch wrap and savory bacon cheeseburgers.
While the economic downturn kicked into high gear shortly after they opened Jake’s, the Stevens have more than weathered the storm and business is now better than ever.
The couple get plenty of help in their venture with a terrific staff and the little man after whom the restaurant in named.
“Jake’s in pre-school now, but he logged a lot of hours in the three years we’ve been open,” said Shaun Stevens. “He loves it here. He makes breakfast and he makes a mean Bloody Mary — there is no alcohol in it, but there could be anything else.”
Jake’s is equally popular with other children, as well as their parents. The kid’s menu offers chicken nuggets, grilled cheese and hot dogs with chips each for only $6 and on the breakfast side of things, happy face pancakes for $5 are a big hit with the little ones.
Parents also enjoy how their kids love the restaurant’s coloring books and video games, giving them at least a few minutes of quiet time. And the restaurant’s real bartenders do make a mean Bloody Mary for the grown-ups.
The bar prices at Jake’s are another hit with the crowd all hours of the day. Well drinks, and their vodka is Stoli, are $3; and so are all of the beers, including Sierra Nevada.
The ethos driving the restaurant is simple, according to Carl Stevens.
“I want people to have good service and leave here with a full belly and having had a great experience,” he said.
“It’s really rewarding to have people love our food,” said Shaun Stevens. “That feels really good. Plus, it’s super fun to have Jake’s name on the sign.”
Stop by the restaurant pretty much any time of the night or day for great fare. For more information or for take out orders call the restaurant at 777-7115.