Lil' Jon reopens in Eastgate

Lil' Jon Restaurant reopened Monday, Dec. 16, after six months of renovations. The diner was shut down following a kitchen fire in June.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

After 46 years of service in the Eastgate community, the Sjolander family wasn't going to let a catastrophic fire let Lil' Jon customers go hungry.

The restaurant and lounge on the 3000 block of 148th Avenue Southeast was shut down by a kitchen fire on June 13 that caused more than $475,000 in damage. With full insurance coverage, the Sjolanders were able to keep paying their 42 employees while construction took place over the past six months. Parker Sjolander said 39 are still with Lil' Jon, which reopened Monday (Dec. 16).

"It was longer than we'd hoped, but we're back and it's been nice," said Sjolander. "Getting permits from the city was kind of a struggle. That was the only downside of it."

Lil' Jon was opened in 1967 by Al Sjolander and is now owned by his son, Jay, with Parker Sjolander ready to take the reins when the time comes. He said the family honored the wishes of their customers that the restaurant come back unchanged.

"We really just kept it the same," Sjolander said. "It's just brighter, newer, cleaner. We knew if we changed it too much, a lot of the customers would be upset."

The Sjolanders announced Lil' Jon's reopening on Facebook on Dec. 13 and ended up with 55,000 people seeing it through social network sharing.

"That's the only thing we did for advertising and it seemed to work, so far. We've been slammed the past two days," said Sjolander on Tuesday. "We'd love to thank the customers for sticking with us and showing the support."


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