We sat down with co-owner George Bountouvas, who began to tell us the story of how he came to own the restaurant with his brother and co-partners. “It started as a joke,” he said, “I worked as a florist for almost 30 years. I’m an Astoria boy from the beginning – the sidewalks know me, the street lamps know me – and I had known Jimbo’s as one of the places in Astoria that didn’t have a great reputation.” He fondly recalled how the idea came out, laughing as he told us the story. “It started as a joke! A complete joke. We said ‘Hey! Why don’t we buy Jimbo’s?’ and everyone told us to change the name, but we wanted to keep it. I thought, ‘Everyone knows me, I can change the reputation,” and so he set out on this mission that turned from a joke into something more.
The first step was to change the food. “Nothing but the best quality food!,” George told us. The steaks served here at the best seller, and we have to admit…they’re some killer steaks. They’re huge and filling, and perfectly cooked. A surprising best-seller? The shrimp. When George told us they were the biggest in Astoria, we didn’t believe him…but take a look for yourself:
George says he could never serve food that wasn’t the highest quality. He tells us about the different grades of feta cheese – and how he once made the mistake of getting second grade feta instead of first. “People noticed,” he says, “they can taste the difference. I could never serve anything less.”
Next, the events. Jimbo’s has amazing Greek singers – some of which are famously known all over Greece. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Jimbo’s has live music coming from the stage, with customers getting to enjoy their meal and the amazing sounds.
Jimbo’s recently underwent major renovations to the space, creating an entire open store front, and new decor. The space now is more comfortable, more inviting. Even more inviting is the staff, and how friendly they are. George says he makes it his goal to know everyone that walks in the door. He wants everyone that comes to Jimbo’s to feel welcome, to feel comfortable, and to feel like this is their restaurant, as much as it is his. We sat and talked by the open front, and everyone that walked by George smiled and asked how he was doing, and we started to believe him that even the sidewalks know his name – the friendliness that radiates from him and his staff is absolutely astonishing – and truly Astorian.
There’s delivery offered, and it’s really affordable – you can get a huge portion of food for under $20, and they’re on all the major delivery sites like GrubHub and Seamless. But, if you’re going to try Jimbo’s, we recommend stopping by. Even if you’re not Greek, stop by on a live music night and listen to the music – and make sure you’re ready to eat.
Jimbo’s Restaurant and Bar
3005 Astoria Blvd, New York, NY 11102