Cedar City’s Northside Grill opens with new owners, flipped menu

CEDAR CITY — James Jensen and Therese Jovanov moved to the area two years ago when the construction company the electrician works for started a job at the new Washington County detention facility.

The previous restaurant owners of the car wash converted into a restaurant had only outdoor seating at Northside Grill in Cedar City, Utah, May 24, 2024 | Photo by Haven Scott, Cedar City / St. George News

Through his father, longtime resident Kent Jensen and partner Jennie Hendricks, they learned of an opportunity to purchase a restaurant on the north side of town.

Jovanov already had a decade of restaurant experience working at the golf course in Boulder City, Nevada.

So when the owner of Shammy’s Grill decided to sell, the foursome decided to partner on the project and flip the menu. Uniquely situated across Main Street from Canyon View High School, the restaurant was originally constructed as a car wash.

But in 2018, KB Express convenience store owners converted the car wash into a drive-through restaurant. And two years later, The Grill, its former name, was shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.

Longtime Cedar City restaurant operator Syrus Saifizadeh opened Shammy’s Grill at the beginning of 2023, serving Mediterranean-style burgers and salads.

Customers at Northside Grill can use the drive-through or dine inside the restaurant in Cedar City, Utah, May 24, 2024 | Photo by Haven Scott, Cedar City / St. George News

When James Jensen and Jovanov took the reins, the name of the restaurant was changed to Northside Grill. And the menu is reminiscent of a diner serving homestyle cooking.

Where the former grill had a smaller menu of burgers, fries and salads, Northside Grill has breakfast burritos, burgers, waffles and pancakes, wraps, patty melts, fries and sweets galore.

“We started out wanting to do breakfast items, sandwiches and burgers, but every day the menu keeps growing bigger,” Jovanov said. “Flavored sodas, energy drinks, hot and iced coffees are some of the recent items.”

While Jovanov and staff were busy tinkering with the menu, the father and son duo got to work on renovations.

James Jensen said he wanted indoor seating for the cold weather clients but also enjoyed the available open outdoor seating.

So they enclosed two walls of the outdoor area and brought back the garage door that would normally let clients leave the former car wash.

Two breakfast tacos, $5.99 plus tax at Northside Grill, are served with two wedges of lime, a creamy chipotle sauce, one choice of meat, eggs and potatoes at Northside Grill in Cedar City, Utah, May 24, 2024 | Photo by Haven Scott, Cedar City / St. George News

“This way, we can open it up and still have that outdoor, fresh air appeal,” James Jensen said. “But it is Cedar City and nobody wants to eat outside when it’s cold.”

Jovanov said her staff takes pride in traveling to local farmer’s markets to find produce, honey, jams, spices and other ingredients to use at Northside Grill.

“As much as we can, we try to purchase everything local,” she said. “The staff really enjoy shopping for stuff, but we also enjoy meeting the people and supporting their business.”

James Jensen said the couple are also working to bring local musicians together for some free community performances at the restaurant in the near future.

“We’re new here in Cedar City, so just trying to get out and meet all the locals and feed everybody,” he said.

The Northside Grill is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. — closed on Sundays — at 1944 North Main Street in Cedar City.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2024, all rights reserved.

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