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The History of Jess & Jim’s Steak House

Jess and Jim’s Steak House opened for business in April of 1938, by two men who were best of friends. Jess Kincaid and Jim Wright started their business at 135th & Holmes as a small bar and grill, until the tornado in 1957 moved them to their present location.

Although far south of the city, they believed that good food, good service and fair prices would make the drive worthwhile. Out of this theory became what we know today as “Jess & Jim’s Steak House”.

Jess got out of the business after starting a family, leaving Jim to run the business alone. Jim hired his cousin, R.C. Van Noy, nights to host and manage the dining room. This worked well, Jim in the kitchen and R.C. in the dining room.

In 1972, Calvin Trillin wrote an article in Playboy Magazine that brought Jess & Jim’s Steak House national fame (we named a steak after it).

Jim’s health started failing in 1977 and left R.C. to run things. Jess & Jim have since passed. R.C. has also passed in October of 2002. Mike and David (his sons) have owned the restaurants since 1990. Now the 4th generation is working and grooming to take over the business someday. Jess & Jim’s Steak House, since 1938, has been a family-owned and operated restaurant.

Read the August 1997 article from Kansas City Persona.

The Van Noy Family Believes… “That our customers are the reason for our existence; that character in business today means security and happiness tomorrow; that an organization can only be dealt with on value, quality and integrity; and that by service to our fellow man, we will justify the confidence placed in us.”