If you know me, you know I’ve long been a fan of both Jack & Benny’s locations, the original one at Hudson and High, and the second spot in the OSU Airport. So it was easy for me to get on board when Geno and Hilda Garcia, the owners of Jack & Benny’s, opened a third location right downtown at Broad and High. The location is significant: the original Jack & Benny’s, a 24/7 diner owned by Jack Sher and Benny Klein, stood close to that site over 60 years ago. When Geno’s father came to the U.S. in 1970, he worked at Jack & Benny’s, eventually borrowing the name (after it closed) for his own diner north of Ohio State’s campus. So now the family is bringing the restaurant back to its roots.
If you’re familiar with the other two locations, you’ll know what this diner is all about. The menu is all the same, breakfast is served all day. The one big difference is that the downtown diner is open 24/7. That’s right, Columbus, we finally have a 24/7 diner in the heart of downtown.
The diner itself is one room, with a small counter and rows of booths and tables.
For my first visit, I of course had to order my favorite Gutbuster: potatoes and cheese and meat and eggs and more potatoes and more meat covered with gravy and served with toast. I just can’t stay away from it. All the usual suspects are present, too: the pancakes, omelets, breakfast sandwiches, huevos rancheros, and more.
If you already know and love Jack & Benny’s, this new spot is an easy sell. Get out there and support Geno and Hilda! If you’re new to the diner, you should still visit. They make simple food that’s a lot of fun to eat, and it’s hard to beat having more breakfast options – and one that’s open 24/7! – downtown Columbus.