CMH Gourmand

Culinary Discovery & Misadventures in the Ice Cream Capital of the World (Columbus)

Jimbo’s Burger and Biker Bar: South Bloomingville

Posted by cmh gourmand on June 14, 2010

During my many years of roaming around the Hocking Hills I have driven by Jimbo’s countless times. I was always intrigued by the place but never stopped due to being too full, too hurried or too late to my next destination. Or maybe it was the 50 to 100 Harley’s parked in front of the place that made me hesitate to halt my journey. I deferred on each opportunity to drop in and drove on by.

Recently I found out that Jimbo’s likes hogs of both varieties – bikes and pigs. Jimbo’s is famous for their Hog Burger, a large, all pork sandwich that gets a lot of buzz on the biker boards. This was the tipping point for me and called for immediate investigation.

The drive from Columbus or Athens to Jimbo’s is scenic and serene (at least at the end) since the bar is located near Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave. My Subaru sauntered into the gravel parking lot and felt a bit out of place even through there were only two bikes and a sports car in the lot. Walking inside, I was immediately pegged as a greenhorn/city slicker/cracker but accepted and welcomed in spite of my lack of credibility. My initial thoughts of the place channeled images of the Blues Brothers Band walking into the country and western bar in the Blues Brothers movie. Except this is a biker bar and I was clearly bikeless. I announced that I had arrived to try their famous big burger. One of the patrons asked how many I was going to get, since he described them as being “like White Castles”. Having a bit of forewarning on burger size, I played along and let him know that since I already had lunch, I was going to limit myself to two. I ordered a hamburger and a pork burger so I could give both a fair shake.

While I waited for the food, I chatted with the staff and the customers – all of whom are regulars. Jimbo’s is open Thursday to Sunday with reduced hours during the winter but a slightly larger menu when it is cold. The off season menu includes a fan favorite chili and a Texas style corn chip chili casserole, which reads as divine. The decor is a mix of motorcycle, NASCAR and hog themed (motorcycle and pig) chic, so I was somewhat out of my element. There is an impressive T-shirt collection affixed to the ceiling that took a long time for me to read (and appreciate). I learned the bar is packed most of the night and day on Saturday and Sunday. It often starts to fill up early Friday afternoons when the weather is good. Bands play during the weekend. The patio seats up to forty and the sprawling bar can pack in a good number as well. There is a great map in the main entrance which displays each large and small road in the region and highlights the best bike routes for customers.

The burgers are 1/2 pound, after cooking. There are over a dozen toppings available and several specialty burgers. The Jimbo Burger features grilled onions, cheese, mushrooms and bacon. The blend of pork for the Hog Burger is specially prepared by two different butchers just for Jimbo’s.

I tried both burgers. Lifting and looking at the burgers, each seemed to weigh much more than 1/2 pound on an extra large bun. Both were served open-faced with the bun top on the side. As a signature, when sour cream and/or other condiments are ordered, they are used to write out Jimbo’s in script on each burger. I liked both of my burgers. I might give a slight edge to the Hog Burger. It had a good pork flavor which was not fatty or greasy. Ultimately, the topping combinations may be the key to burger bliss here. I ordered Velveeta on my Hog Burger which took me back to my youth while taking it away at the same time. The burgers are priced at $5 and $6 which is an excellent value. (@CMHTobias gave the leftovers a hearty endorsement as well, eating them before the car left the lot).

Ordering the two burgers and eating (most of) each gave me significant street credibility with the the regular patrons and staff. I was on a first name basis with everyone by the time I walked out the door. I was asked to come back soon and to keep an eye out for some of my new friends when in Athens, as it turned out we knew some of the same folks.

If you are hiking the Hocking Hills set aside a little time and stomach space to try a burger from Jimbo’s before or after you hit the trail.

Jimbo’s Bar and Diner
23356 SR 56
(somewhat southwest of the intersection of SR 664 and SR 56)
South Bloomingville, OH
740.332.6550

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10 Responses to “Jimbo’s Burger and Biker Bar: South Bloomingville”

  1. Joy Clark said

    A little added info. JimBo’s was not always a biker bar.
    JimBo better known as Jimmy Clark in the Pro AMA Motorcycle Hillclimb arena, broke his back at a hill climb in Orgonia, Ohio October 1988 which ended his 17 year career as a pro motorcycle hill climber. The AMA, retired Jimmy. He had won several National, World and Canadian titles in his career. Bikers whom had followed Jimmy’s Hill climb career started showing up at the bar to see JimBo and get his autograph. Now they just come for the good food, and cold beer. Some old timers still remember JimBos days of glory and ask for his autograph. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons we still slip in the ESPN and Motorworld videos. We do a step back in time and watch some of the best Motorcycle Hillclimbs of the 1970′s and 1980′s. JimBo still drinks only Coors Light, which was his commercial sponsor back in the day before anyone had a commercial sponsor. It’s funny how we get to where we are going! Jimmy never thought he would be famous for Hamburgers…. Thanks for the great article.
    JimBo & Joy

  2. Best burgers in Ohio!!

  3. D Jensen said

    We searched out a place and went there on my birthday during a trip to Hocking Hills. You are welcomed when you come in and the burgers are AMAZING! It wasn’t too crowded on this particular sunday, but the weather was rainy most of the day. Enjoyed the food and cold beer, and will definitely return for more! Next time, Hog Burger!

  4. big matt said

    had a great time there in the fall when a friend suggested we ride down from columbus for the day and get some lunch. turns out my tim a. knew jimbo and as busy as he was still made time to sit down and talk with us while we ate. great food, good price, fun and friendly service. cant wait to go back again!

  5. Trish said

    What are the current hours?

    *********************************************

    Hours vary. I suggest calling ahead.

  6. Joy Clark owner of JimBo's said

    JimBo’s opens yearly for the summer season
    the second weekend in April and closes for the winter season the end of November.
    April 12 through November the hours are:
    Thursday through Sunday
    11 am through 9 pm (kitchen closes at 8 pm)
    Summer 2012 Memorial day through Labor Day
    Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday
    12 noon to 7pm

    Open for the season April 12, 2012 – 11 am
    740-332-6550 feel free to call

  7. [...] had Jimbo’s for lunch, a casual bar, which was sort of a nice change from the pricey, fancy food. I had an [...]

  8. mike said

    They’re open now!!!!!!!

  9. Last of a Bread said

    After Jim died the place is a gutted out place , bright lights and no BAR to set at , pool table gong a real biker will not give this place a second chance

    • Joy Clark owner of JimBo's said

      A real Biker! JimBo would have laughed his ass off at that one.. JimBo’s has hundreds of real bikers every week. JimBo himself rode a Goldwing Trike. Our customers come on four wheels also, with their grandchildren. The remodel would have taken place even if JimBo had not passed away. Things can not be left to fall down around you. The building had to meet State of Ohio Code, and does now.. 99% of JimBos customers LOVE the update to the building. Business must continue to grow and change with the needs of the customers and the area in which they are located.

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