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Neighborhood staple Junior's Sandwich Shops reopens 6 months after fire

In January 2022, Junior's owners woke up to calls that their restaurant was on fire.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — From the ashes, they rise…or reopen rather. 

Junior’s Sandwich Shop and Seafood Restaurant and Grill went up in flames in January 2022. The two family owned restaurants are in the same building,

Owner Romal Kassees says an electrical fire started on the side where the Seafood Restaurant is, but water from fighting the fire damaged the Sandwich Shop as well.

The restaurants, and the family who runs them, have been a staple on Main Street for 44 years. 

Kassees says he’s passionate about this business because of the customers.

 “Customers come in. They’re either grouchy or this or that or they’re hungry and got that mood swing," Kassees said. "But by the time I fix them something to eat, what have you, they’re happy. I make them happy.”

Junior's Sandwich Shop is now reopen 6 months after the fire. 

It’s kept the original charm. The famous cherry Limeade is back by the gallon. They have a new ceiling and new menu look, but the food and cooking is the same.

Son of the owner Abraham Kassees, who will one day take over, remembers the day he saw his family’s hard work up in flames.

“That was a real heart breaking moment," Abraham Kassees described. "My cousin Jennifer called me up first thing in the morning and told us that we had a … the place was on fire. I think that’s the fastest I’ve ever moved in my life.”

Customers are asking about Junior’s Seafood. They say had to be remodeled completely and is expected to reopen this September. 

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