September 23, 2023


Technological development

JK’s restaurant in Danbury is for sale after 98 years


DANBURY — A family-owned restaurant that got its start selling two hot dogs and a cup of coffee for 25 cents and became one of the city’s legendary eateries is for sale so the owners can “enjoy life a little.”

“In this business, you have to put 100 percent into it and we always put 100 percent into it,” said Peter Koukos, whose grandfather and grand uncle started JK’s Original Texas Hot Weiners on White Street in 1924. “We are not retiring because we are burned out — the business is going strong, but it’s time to enjoy life a little.”

Koukos, 62, is referring to a family-run business which survived the Great Depression, World War II, the flood of 1955 and the coronavirus pandemic by serving quintessential family fare at fair prices. The menu at JK’s restaurant, which has been on South Street for 48 years, features cheeseburgers, club sandwiches and grinders — all for under $12.

“The pandemic didn’t affect us at all,” said Koukos shortly before the lunch rush on Tuesday, referring to the COVID-19 epidemic that shut down scores of restaurants across Connecticut and the nation during its two-year scourge. “We just changed the way we did business.”

Koukos and his older brother George hope the new owners pick up where the family tradition has left off — preferring quality over everything else.

A real estate listing for the restaurant says as much.

“Many businesses, especially during pandemic times, did not make it; this particular business thrived throughout the shut down and still continues to grow and could expand to even more,” said a listing by Coldwell Banker Realty. “The hours, menu, catering, off site special events, in house special events, takeout, delivery, food truck, and many more ideas could grow this business and even become a franchise.”

To take over the business and the restaurant at 126 South St. will cost you $2.2 million, according to the listing.

“For almost 100 years, this location has been a brand and a staple in town, and you could be the one to capitalize off of its legacy and make it your own,” the listing reads. “The family who owns this would love nothing more than (to have) capable and willing people to pass off the years of dedication … with the same dream.”

Kouskos said he has been telling customers who have heard the news that the family has every intention of selling to a new owner with similar values.

“They say, ‘Oh no, you can’t do that,’ and I say ‘JK’s will be the same,’” Koukos said. “That is our intention. The new owners will do that if they’re smart. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel.”

[email protected] 203-731-3342


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