Jaimie’s B&K Owner Talks Success of Classic Knox Restaurant
Photographer / Jubilee Edgell
B&K Drive-In Restaurant in Knox is a place with good food, rich history, and a wonderful family atmosphere. Owner Jaimie Howard, who reopened the restaurant in May of 2018 after it was closed for four years, renamed it “Jaimie’s B&K.” She had worked there in the past, where she learned the impact the restaurant had on the community.
“I worked there when I was 14, and I worked there from 14 to 21, on and off,” she says. “In May of 2018, I took over the restaurant, and that is when we reopened.”
The business is a landmark in Starke County. It has been there for decades, but the exact opening is unclear. Customers reminisce with Howard, sharing memories about growing up and coming to the restaurant. Although many have memories of visiting and eating at the iconic drive-in restaurant, nobody seems to have a clear indication of what year it opened.
“[We have a customer who] is 80 this year, and she remembers coming here when she was 16,” Howard recalls. “I called the Historical Society a couple of times, and we haven’t gotten anything.”
B&K restaurants originated in the Midwest. The first one opened in Michigan City, Indiana in the 1940s. Since then, they have spread across multiple states. At one point, Indiana had more than 230 B&Ks. Today, there are about 17, including the one Howard runs in Knox. The community immediately responded in a positive way, she says.
“We had a huge community response the first couple months,” she says. “Everybody on our staff was new, and I hadn’t worked it in 20 years, and by the middle of the season, we were doing great.”
Howard works hard to make sure she gives back to the community for their unwavering support. She regularly donates to organizations that help children.
“I give back to the kids,” Howard says. “I donate a lot to the Band Boosters and anything that has to do with kids I donate for. I like to give back to [organizations for children]. We also support our local fire department.”
The kids are truly in Howard’s heart, and they have been since she decided to reopen the restaurant. She changed her career path from a medical assistant, where she had worked for 20 years.
“I had babies and I realized that I couldn’t continue the path I was on with my job,” she says.
Now, she gets the support of the community and her family, who she says she truly could not have done any of this without. Her husband, John, played a huge role in the reopening and success of the restaurant.
If you would like to visit Jaimie’s B&K, you can visit them at 1208 S Heaton Street in Knox. You can visit them on their Facebook page, “Jaimie’s B&K,” or you can give them a call at 574-772-4888. They are open from 11am to 9pm on Monday through Friday, 11 am -10 pm on Saturday, and 1pm-7pm on Sunday.