Shortly after 3:30 a.m. Sunday, Jim Jenson was awakened by a phone call from Ardmore police. Early morning phone calls rarely have good news, calls from the police at that hour are typically worse.
Earlier that morning, a vehicle had crashed into the east wall of Jenson’s Jimmy J’s Dairy Freeze restaurant on the corner of G Street NW.
When officers arrived on the scene, they found a car sitting halfway in the building. The occupants had fled the scene. Ardmore PD’s Sgt. Payne said the investigation into the crash is still underway, and that the cause had not yet been determined. Payne said early reports showed no reason to suspect the car had been stolen.
Jenson, an 18-year resident of Ardmore originally from South Dakota, has owned the restaurant for the last 5 years. Prior to that, he worked as a cook for Dornick Hills, starting his career in the food and service industry at the age of 17.
Jenson has already contacted his insurance and the insurance of the car owner, but doesn’t expect to be fully reimbursed for his losses.
”I’ve probably lost $20,000 in equipment alone,” He said. “We don’t know yet if the building has shifted. The car hit a weight-bearing wall, but we won’t know until someone that knows more about that kind of stuff looks at it. We will probably lose another $3,000 a week that we aren’t able to open.”
All is not lost for Jenson, he also owns a food truck and catering business.
”We will do something with the food truck, if we can make it work,” he said. “It’s wintertime, and those things aren’t really made for winter, but we will make a decision later this week.”
Jenson said that in the event he is able to operate his food truck out of the parking lot of Jimmy J’s, he won’t be able to operate with a full menu. The move would also force him to back out of bids on several catering opportunities.
Despite the bit of bad luck, Jenson remains thankful for the support he’s received from the community and remains optimistic for the future.
“I really do appreciate the phone calls - the phone has been ringing off the hook,” He said. “I will rebuild, we will be back.