Jack's Cafe

Josh Petro keeps things light at Jack's Cafe on December 9, 2018. File/Staff

A downtown Charleston breakfast fixture has apparently closed five years after its founder sold the business.

Jack’s Café in early July posted a “Closed for Vacation” sign on its front door and hasn’t reopened since. The restaurant’s website is no longer operational and calls to the restaurant went unanswered.

In late 2014, Jack’s Café also went dark. It was revived in early 2015 by Edward and Nancy Flynn, who purchased the restaurant from original owner Jack Sewell. The Flynns only kept Jack’s for two years before selling it to Scott Coffman and Todd Justice.

Justice has worked on projects with the Charlotte-based Bottle Cap Group, including Ink N’ Ivy in Greenville, but a Bottle Cap spokeswoman says the company has no association with the 41 George St. space. Justice did not return messages seeking comment.

In 1972, Sewell took over the diner then known as Hungry Lion and applied his name to it. During his tenure, Jack’s was celebrated for its milkshakes, BLTs and no-nonsense breakfasts. The Post and Courier’s Jane Kronsberg in 1993 declared Jack’s home to “the best waffle in town.”

When the paper in 2015 sent contributor Deidre Schipani to check out the Flynns’ version of Jack’s, she ruled that “the soul of the flat top remains intact,” based on the bacon, eggs and hash browns she sampled, although she noted that prices had gone up since Sewell manned the grill, perhaps to help cover the cost of new vinyl seating, Formica surfaces and ceramic tiles.

But recent visitors were less impressed by Jack’s. Eight of the last 10 reviews posted on Yelp, dating back to March, gave two or fewer stars to the restaurant. Yelpers complained about lumpy grits, greasy home fries, stale bread and overcooked eggs.

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.

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