There is no reason to go over the hill into the 925 when you can get world-class burgers and steaks right here in the 209 at Juniors’ on Central Avenue in downtown Tracy. Owners Monique and Oscar Sharp are new to the restaurant industry and with knowledgeable General Manager Billy Jordan, a dedicated crew, fantastic food and a comfortable and fun atmosphere, success has been easy despite the challenges.
They celebrated their two-year anniversary in March and believe the Tracy community is responsible for helping them get through all the struggles that occurred over the past year. The couple has a real estate company and Oscar is a firefighter as well as venturing into the restaurant industry.
Construction started in August of 2018 and they had a substantial amount of work and renovations to do. This turned the original design of about a 50-person capacity restaurant/bar to almost double with now a 99-person capacity. They opened up walls and gave the place a modern facelift. The brick walls give the restaurant some texture, the décor and the historical black and white pictures of Tracy give the place a warm and comfortable feel.
Right after celebrating their one-year anniversary COVID hit and shut everything down in the spring of 2020. They closed for about a month and then brought some of the staff back to offer takeout. Then they progressed to outdoor dining.
“We have been complying and doing the transitional process applying for the grants and doing everything that can help keep us afloat,” stated Oscar. “COVID has definitely been a challenge especially only being open for a year and never being in the restaurant industry. It was challenging but luckily the community is very supportive of us so we were able to weather the storm.”
Since COVID they have removed the barstools at the bar, spaced the tables, and expanded the outdoor space by moving tables into a few of the parking spaces in front to accommodate guests and increase capacity in their outdoor dining area.
“Right now people are comfortable coming in here and sitting outside, our distance is really spacious enough for them to enjoy the atmosphere,” said Oscar. “We are doing okay without the barstools. We kind of transitioned to more of a restaurant that has a bar instead of a bar that has a restaurant.”
The one thing that they knew they were going to offer on the menu was steaks; then they added salads, sandwiches and a variety of appetizers. The menu has evolved since they opened in 2019.
“We knew what downtown needed because we know what other restaurants are offering so we put our minds together and came up with items and it was a process of elimination,” noted Monique. “We tried things out and we have seen what works over the past few years.”
The kitchen is small and according to Billy it can be difficult when the restaurant is bustling. They have a full bar with wine, beer, cocktails and a variety of specialty drinks like the White Gummy Beartini that is a guest favorite.
“We are consistent,” added Billy. “We are doing the best we can to keep everything consistent and quick. So, there are not long wait times. One silver lining with this COVID dark cloud is finding out how many people enjoy sitting outside.”
In the few years that Juniors’ has been open they have established themselves as a steak and burger place. One of their best sellers is the Juniors’ Classic Burger that is thick cut half-pound beef patty on a brioche bun with lettuce, tomato, and onions with a side of fries. The Chef’s special that has been a guest favorite is the Rib Eye Steak Dinner that has 14 oz. grilled-to-perfection rib eye seasoned with their house blend of herbs and spices, golden potatoes, and seasonal vegetables.
For those who are looking for some smaller bites, the Starters may be it with some guest favorites like the ‘Loaded Tots’ with chili, cheese, sour cream and tomatoes, the pretzels and beer cheese, shrimp cocktail, or the assortment of wings like the salt and pepper ones that are simply delicious.
They offer a variety of soups and salads like the Wedge Salad that has been a top seller that has blue cheese crumbles, tomatoes, red onion, and bacon served with the house made blue cheese dressing.
They have won a few awards for best burgers, best steaks, and best lunch spot in Tracy that have been proud moments for the relatively new restaurateurs.
“We get a lot of compliments on our service,” shared Billy. “Our servers are very friendly and down to earth.”
The Chicken Marsala is made with two 6 oz. chicken breasts topped with a savory Marsala sauce that comes with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Some other options are the salmon, halibut, pastas like tomato basil or carbonara and the Cajun pasta with shrimp and beef hot links in a spicy Cajun sauce.
“People love our portion sizes because we are very generous,” noted Oscar. “So, if you want to ruin your diet definitely come down.”
With vaccines being distributed and the COVID numbers going down they are hopeful that they will soon be able to open up at full capacity.
Monique encouraged everyone to join them in their comfortable atmosphere where guests can hear good tunes, eat great food, and delight in some divine drinks.
“I would also say that the biggest thing for us is to say thank you to the community because without them coming in to support us and help us get through these times we wouldn’t be here,” expressed Oscar. “We just want to say we appreciate you for sticking with us. It wasn’t the government that took care of us; it was the community of Tracy and the surrounding area. We are staying consistent and becoming a downtown destination.”
939 N. Central Avenue
Tracy, CA 95376
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Owners - Monique and Oscar Sharp
General Manager - Billy Jordan
Wednesday - Saturday - 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday - 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Monday & Tuesday - CLOSED