JK’s at Forest Grove under new ownership

When Jami Rivera saw JK’s at Forest Grove for sale, she thought: “Why not?”

She quit her job of six years at Amazon, opted for an apron and got to work.

Now one month into restaurant ownership, the Winchester native said it’s been great, and she’s been thankful for the support.

Rivera said it’s still the same ol’ JK’s as Greg and Alice Keller left her all of the recipes, and JK’s still has the coldest Ale-8s in the county.

“We haven’t changed anything,” Rivera said.

Some customer favorites include soup beans and cornbread, the Kentucky BBQ burger and the chicken salad, the hot brown, beer cheese and more.

“The chicken salad is light and refreshing,” she said.

While Rivera is the new owner, she said nothing has changed. But, she does plan to make new additions such as opening for dinner, weekends and adding a few new menu items such as biscuits and gravy, Paul’s spaghetti (an homage to her late father’s favorite meal) and more.

Customers will still see some familiar faces, Rivera said, as a few workers have stayed on under the new ownership, but they can also come and get to know a few new workers, including some who followed Rivera from Amazon.

Customers can also reserve the restaurant for parties and other events as well as offer catering. Customers can also call in to pick up orders.

Rivera said she always thought it would’ve been fun to open a restaurant. Over the years, she has worked at Hardee’s, Toyota and more.

“Everyone always dreams of being their own boss,” she said.

Rivera said it seemed like a convenient time to buy JK’s as the Kellers were ready to retire, the business was successful and Rivera and her husband, Luis, were building a house up the road.

So far it’s been rewarding, Rivera said, especially getting that nod of approval after customers take the first bite.

“Quality is the main thing,” she said. “That’s what we strive for.”

Eventually, Rivera said she hopes to do more with the community such as hosting benefit nights, sponsoring events and more.

“I’d like to help impact the community,” she said.

JK’s is currently open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Rivera said to follow JK’s on Facebook for updates on daily specials as well as to be on the lookout for when it will open on weekends and nights.