Words and Images by Jenny Lynn Davis
The small town of Parrish, Alabama, has a lot to celebrate these days. Jack’s restaurant, located at the corner of AL-269 and Parrish-Oakman Highway, has officially reopened after being torn down for a much-needed remodel.
For many in the community, Jack’s isn’t just a place to grab a quick bite to eat— it’s a gathering place where locals come together to catch up on the latest news, share stories, and enjoy one another’s company.
Parrish Mayor Bubba Cagle says that Jack’s has been sorely missed in the community over the last five months, both economically and socially.
“It’s our only fast-food restaurant and one of the top three economic contributors in town, so it has been missed in that regard, but I know the absence was felt most by the people, especially the regulars.”
One group of regulars particularly excited about the reopening were the senior men who meet at Jack’s every morning to have breakfast and chat. Jack’s is more than just a restaurant for these men –it’s a cornerstone of their daily routine and an essential part of their social lives. Cagle and other residents affectionately refer to the group as “the roundtable.”
“I’m here at 4:30 every morning to get breakfast and talk with my friends, and I’ve been doing this since the place originally opened back in the day,” says Harold Phifer. “I live by myself, and it’s cheaper to come here and get breakfast than buy the stuff to fix it for myself. Plus, it gets me out of the house and socializing, and you just can’t put a price on that.”
Phifer was among a group of over 30 individuals who lined the sidewalks of the establishment on Wednesday morning, eager to place their orders from the breakfast menu and to gather with their community.
“Two people on my management team were not scheduled to be here until noon, but they got here at 4:30 a.m. so they could see all the regulars,” said Jack’s Area Supervisor, Kathy Vanzant. “Everyone was just so excited for us to open again, and we’re excited to be back serving them. We hope the changes we’ve made help us do that better than before.”
The restaurant’s updated interior and exterior, along with improved customer service initiatives like curbside pickup and drive-thru attendants, are welcome additions to the town, and the community is eager to show their support for this local institution.
For many, the reopening of Jack’s in Parrish is a reminder of the importance of community. Whether you’re stopping in for a quick bite or meeting up with friends for breakfast, Jack’s is more than just a restaurant – it’s a vital part of the Parrish community.
In an age where it’s easy to feel disconnected and isolated, places like Jack’s remind us of the value of coming together and supporting one another. WL