POMARIA — Back in December, M&N Cafe, a staple in Pomaria, closed but a few months later J&M Diner opened its doors in the same building and according to the owner, they are filling a need in the community.
“We just felt like one was needed in the area, having lived up here and having to drive so far to get any food or even grocery stores are a long way away. We just felt like the area needed one. When Margaret left, we felt there was a hole left in the area, as far as any restaurants or any kind of service like that. We felt like we needed to provide that,” said Michelle MacDonald, one of the owners of J&M.
MacDonald owns J&M along with James Dyches. She said they both have a love of cooking and they used that love to fill a need in the Pomaria area.
The menu at J&M is what MacDonald calls American food. They have burgers and sandwiches, salads, steaks, chicken and wings and more. MacDonald’s personal favorite menu item is the Pimento Cheeseburger. She said the flavors on that burger just compliment each other well.
Dyches favorite items are the ribeyes, something he also enjoys cooking.
“Our most cooked items would have to be a toss up between the cheeseburgers and the Philly cheesesteaks, people really love those,” MacDonald said.
Desserts can also be found at J&M. MacDonald said that on Sunday or Monday she will go into her baking pantry and decide what dessert she will make for that week.
Their menu and service is what MacDonald says sets them apart from other restaurants. She said that a lot of people tell them that a burger at J&M is the best burger they ever had, along with the hand-cut fries.
“It is also the little things, like the coleslaw. You are not going to find that anywhere else, that is my recipe, I created that. The Pimento Cheese, that is also my recipe. You might find things that taste similar, but not exactly,” MacDonald said. “The barbecue sauce James makes and his chili is homemade. That is what we set out to do, if someone does happen to stop who is on the way to another state, we want to be that little place they remember, remember that neat little place in South Carolina, and hopefully represent our area well. We will give them some good service, and some good sweet tea.”
Since they opened in February, J&M has already established a loyal customer base. MacDonald said they have a lot of local regulars, as well as construction workers from V.C. Summer (which MacDonald said they recently had to say goodbye to), as well as some people who work out at Unit One at V.C. Summer. They also have customers who come from Newberry, or even Columbia.
“You get to know these people, and they do become like family,” MacDonald said.
J&M is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. MacDonald said that the season will dictate which days are the busiest. During the spring, they were busy every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. During the summer they have been busy during lunch on Wednesday and Thursday.
“Friday has scaled back due in part to vacations. I think once school gets back into swing that will change. Saturday is our big travel day, people will come over from the Palmetto Trail after they hiked, I love to get them here because a lot of times they are not from around here,” she said.
There will be special days that J&M will open up on a Sunday or a Monday. They did this on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and MacDonald plans to open on the day of the Total Solar Eclipse (Aug. 21) with a special menu item.
J&M is located on 5089 US 176 in Pomaria and can be reached at 803-321-2562.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.