Jack’s Grill, a Redding institution

For more than 75 years, Jacks Grill has been serving Redding. The iconic standalone structure is a throwback to California Street’s rough and ready past. Jack’s longtime popularity and staying power is exceedingly scarce among Northstate restaurants. I regularly see patrons lined up at opening time daily, as below.

We hadn’t been for a long while. Let’s go.Jacks GrillI’d heard they recently turned up the lights, and so diminished some of the charm. Hmm. Jacks1

Well, if they did indeed turn up the lights, then my vision has only gotten dimmer. It looks no different to me than it did 40 years ago.

Okay. Minus the thick fog of cigarette smoke, back in the day.Jacks7The darkened setting lends Jack’s mysterious ambiance. Jacks9This bar is usually full. A place to see friends and to be seen.

Below,  the legendary salad.  Straight-up ice-cold iceberg lettuce drenched in bleu cheese.Jacks6Jacks3No question, the lovely Karry’s fried prawns were perfection on a plate. My New York steak was nicely done. I asked for rare, and that’s what I got. The baked potato sour creme and chive accompanied by pats of butter are EXACTLY as I remember it, circa 1978.Jacks5Jacks4
Looking for trendy cuisine? Or hipster nouvelle? Get outta here. Go away. #BlankStare.Jacks11
The bill arrives with a flashlight. I needed it.

Care for a slice of 1940, served up like smartphones exist only in sci-fi novels?

Yeah, Jack’s.
Way back before the internet, and when I was working for a mega-corporation, whenever a bigshot manager or corporate executive came to town, they all wanted to go to Jack’s. Famous even then. It has always so perfectly exemplified the full-on Redding – California Street experience.

No, this isn’t Applebees. Nor is it the Outback. Nope.

Jack’s is seriously just about as Really Redding as you can get.

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