PITTSBURG — Little J’s, a local sandwich shop founded by a Pittsburg native, handed out more than 100 free burgers on a recent Saturday as part of a ribbon-cutting event celebrating its 11 years in the city.
Founded in 2003, Little J’s is a neighborhood-oriented business that boasts “the best tri-tip in town,” and sells steaks, burgers, and other American cuisine.
Owner and founder Aron Locke said that he tries to frame the restaurant as a social avenue, as well as an eatery.
“All our customers, we pretty much know by name or face, or know their order,” Locke said.
“It’s like a barber shop. People talk and hang out. I try to create a good vibe, and my crew has been outstanding.”
This was the restaurant’s first birthday celebration of any kind.
Locke said it didn’t dawn on him to hold a celebration until well-after the restaurant’s 10-year anniversary, so he decided to celebrate their 11th.
He added that they’d probably celebrate their 15th anniversary next, “since that’s a nice, whole number.”
The city’s chamber of commerce, which helped organize the ribbon-cutting, gave out prizes from local small businesses and distributed more than 150 “shop local” bags on site. They also had toy giveaways, a bouncy house, and souped-up cars on display.
“He is genuinely passionate about the community, and that level of love and commitment just radiates from him and his staff,” Chamber Manager Monica Couture said of Locke.
Locke, who graduated from Pittsburg High, said one of his principle concerns was to make sure the chamber gave him an orange ribbon for the cutting, so that it would be in sync with the Pittsburg Pirates’ colors. Little J’s is totally decked out with orange and black flair, up to and including Locke’s own footwear.
Locke also encouraged people to check out the city’s downtown, and said that small businessowners in the area tend to get along.
Mayor Sal Evola, Vice Mayor Pete Longmire, Councilwoman Nancy Parent were all present for the event, as well as members of the city’s chamber of commerce.
Little J’s is at 3350 Loverridge Road, and shares a parking lot with a 7-Eleven. For more information, visit www.littlejsburgers.com or call 925-432-7648
Contact Nate Gartrell at 925-779-7174, and follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/NateGartrell