Often seeing long wait times and lines out the door, JJ's Caffe has earned its place as a food destination in Brockton with customers often traveling a ways to try out their food, general manager and co-owner Nelson Fernandes said. The cafe recently earned a place for a third time on Yelp's "Top 100 Places to Eat" list.

BROCKTON – Situated in what was formerly an old diner, JJ’s Caffe aims to create a memorable experience in an intimate atmosphere for hungry customers.

And the customers are certainly hungry for JJ’s offerings, with wait times often creeping up over an hour with lines out the door, said general manager and JJ's co-owner Nelson Fernandes.

“When we first opened, we actually got to sit down and talk to customers and have a chat and get to know them,” he said. “Now it gets so busy, we actually don’t even have time. There’s usually a line out of the door.”

We can deliver news just like this directly to your inbox. You can sign up for This Just In (a daily 7:30 p.m. newsletter with items we've posted that day), News Alerts (so you don't miss anything important) and more. It's customized to your preferences -- and it'll only take a few seconds.

Since the family-run business first opened in May 2013, JJ’s Caffe’s reputation has grown, even becoming a destination for customers. The business recently made Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat list – with a No. 78 ranking – for the third time in addition to making the list 2017 and 2018. JJ's Caffe has also been featured by Phantom Gourmet, People Magazine, Chronicle and Yankee Magazine.

2020欧洲杯APP下载While it mainly attracted people from the greater Brockton area when he and his father, restaurant namesake and executive chef JJ Fernandes, first opened the cafe, Fernandes now says that they probably get more customers from outside of Brockton.

“We get the folks that travel,” he said. “They find out and say, ‘I don’t care how far it is’ – they’re making a whole day out of it.”

JJ’s Caffe went through a renovation in 2017 that increased seating from 33 seats to 43 and raised the height of the bar overlooking the kitchen to create front-row seats to an open kitchen, Fernandes said. They’re also currently in the process of a menu change to add new menu items and remove old ones.

One recent special that’s been offered since last May – a Coquito French Toast with challah bread baked in coconut eggnog and topped with coconut crème anglaise, whipped cream, fresh berries and coconut flakes – will likely find a permanent place on the menu, Fernandes said. They got the inspiration during a trip to Puerto Rico, he said, where coquito – a popular coconut-flavored alcoholic drink – was created.

2020欧洲杯APP下载Some of the popular menu items have been on since the very beginning, Fernandes said, including the hangover benedict – with an 8-ounce charbroiled angus sirloin topped with spinach, roasted peppers, three poached eggs and demi glace served on grilled ciabatta – and the creme brulee French toast with housemade apple cinnamon syrup and whipped cream.

Another is the hash bomb, which has three deep-fried corned beef hash balls stuffed with cheddar and Fogo fire hot sauce and topped with sausage gravy and cheddar – which Fernandes admitted is his favorite menu item.

“I legit eat it every day,” he said. “We usually do like a family meal at the end of the day where employees can order what they want, so that’s like my go-to without fail. They don’t even have to ask what I want.”

The menu serves as a mixture of both business and creativity, he said: It’s up to them to come up with creative specials and if they do well enough sales-wise, they go on the menu. The menu items that aren’t doing as well get replaced, he said, and the cycle continues with each menu change. It’s that analytical approach that led them to switch from breakfast and lunch offerings to breakfast only starting last August.

“We’re not going to fight what’s not working,” he said. “Lunch was such a small portion of our sales, so there was no reason to keep buying things for lunch if it’s not selling … It really doesn’t matter what time of day, breakfast is really an all-day thing.”

2020欧洲杯APP下载Looking forward to growth, Fernandes said that JJ’s will remain at its 610 North Main St. spot and continue to serve breakfast. But one possibility they’re looking to do is open another restaurant and serve small dinner plates, he said, but that prospect is a long way off.

2020欧洲杯APP下载“We’ve always had ideas, but the restaurant keeps us so busy, it’s hard to even develop something,” he said.

2020欧洲杯APP下载In the meantime, JJ's is helping other business to grow, as Fernandes said they’ll direct customers not looking to wait when it's busy to other restaurants in the area, such as Deag’s Diner in Stoughton and Yaz’s Table in Abington.

“In Boston, there’s a big restaurant family so everyone kind of just helps everybody out,” he said. “We want to have that same experience here. There’s plenty to go around."

2020欧洲杯APP下载With that sentiment, Fernandes said he’s been working to get more restaurants to open in the city as well – and more restaurants means more visitors to help bolster the city’s growth in general.

2020欧洲杯APP下载“At the end of the day … if you put out something great, (customers) will find it,” he said. “They’re ravenous when it comes to food. They’ll find it and they’ll travel to find it.”

And JJ’s Caffe is testament to that, with Fernandes pointing out the nearly 600 reviews from customers and a cumulative five-star business rating on Yelp that he says let’s them know they’re doing something right.

“At the end of the day, we’re just trying to create memorable experiences for our customers,” he said. “How we do that may change from day to day. It’s really customer driven and staff driven, so we’re always open to new ideas and trying new things. We don’t want to be the same restaurant we were last year and we don’t want to be the same restaurant a year from now.”

JJ's Caffe, located at 610 North Main St., is open Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Staff writer Corlyn Voorhees can be reached at cvoorhees@klugerinc.com.