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Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack opens in downtown Iowa City


Jimmy Jacks
Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack features patio seating and is accessible through the mall or from the street. — photo by Frankie Schneckloth

The Old Capitol Mall is has a new joint for old school barbecue. Named the Best Barbecue for 2015, Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack is open for business in downtown Iowa City.

The new location is bringing elegant features like light faux wood tile walls and high-back booths to a casual framework — counter service and community-table high top tables. Placed conveniently on Clinton St. across from Pints, they’re ready to serve up ribs, wings, smoked sandwiches (including a vegetarian portobello option) and a variety of classic sides like cornbread, slaw and baked beans.

Jimmy Jack's customers order from a walk-up counter. -- photo by Frankie Schneckloth
Jimmy Jack’s customers order from a walk-up counter. — photo by Frankie Schneckloth

Owners James “Jimmy” Adrian and Jack Piper also own other Iowa City favorites, such as the original Jimmy Jack’s location (1940 Lower Muscatine Rd), Atlas Restaurant & Bar (127 Iowa Ave) and Basta Pizzeria Ristorante (121 Iowa Ave). Inspired by the flavors and casual atmosphere of the cuisine, their history states that “whatever city they found themselves working in (Dallas, New Orleans, Boulder), their first priority was to find the best local barbecue.”

Jimmy Jack's
Jimmy Jack’s pulled pork dinner with coleslaw and house-made pickles. — photo by Frankie Schneckloth

Adrian commented enthusiastically about the new demographic to which they’ll now cater: “The biggest thing is that we’re excited to bring Jimmy Jack’s barbecue to the students who may not have a car and can’t get to the eastside. There have also been a lot of University of Iowa faculty and Downtown District business people who were looking for a quick lunch but could rarely get all the way out to our original location in their 30 minute breaks.”

Piper affirmed this sentiment when he said, “We’re happy to be closer to the people who have been asking for us for years…It’s the same great food, fresh new location.”

Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack downtown is open Sunday thru Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.


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