We heard a couple of weeks ago that the new Columbia Heights IHOP would be “owned and staffed by police officers,” which was supposed to lay to rest fears of the 24-hour diner disrupting sleepy neighbors. Turns out that’s only half of the truth. The folks bringing pancakes to Ward 1 are the same as the ones who brought them to Ward 8: Jackson Investment Companies, run by former NFL defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson, his father Clarence Jackson, and his brother Clarence Jackson III, a master patrol officer in the MPD’s 7th District.
“We have a wonderful relationships with all of his friends,” says Tyoka, explaining that the Columbia Heights location will have off-duty police officers on hand between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. “It’s going to give people a level of security and comfort, on hand for those who are worried about it.”
The restaurant in DC USA, which will start construction in August and open in late October or early November, was helped along by set-asides in the giant complex for local businesses—the Jacksons are paying below-market rates for their lease. But this isn’t the end for D.C. IHOPs. The deal they inked with the restaurant chain in 2007 was for three locations, and for their last one, Tyoka says they’re looking either towards Georgetown or Deanwood.
A little bit different demographics? Sure. But according to Jackson, they have one key thing in common.
“There’s a lot of need,” he says.“When we look at it, they lack a 24-hour breakfast oriented, family oriented restaurant.”
Take that, Fred Smoot.
Photo from flickr user sikario.