BIZBEAT: Izzy’s Burgers and Shakes hopes to bring ‘old-school’ feel to downtown

Tara Espinoza/News Tribune photo: Taisir Yanis, the owner of Yanis Coffee Zone, is opening a new business right next to his original shop in downtown Jefferson City. The new restaurant will be called Izzy's Burgers and Shakes and is located in the old Jimmy John's at 128 E. High St.

Taisir Yanis has owned a popular downtown coffee shop, Yanis Coffee Zone, for 20 years. It was a gamble when he opened the shop in 2003 on High Street, but he saw that Jefferson City lacked "good coffee" at the time.

Yanis Coffee Zone grew. Now, all walks of life pass through his shop, stopping for coffee, teas, smoothies, breakfast and lunch.

The shop was recognized for its 20th anniversary this year, but Yanis is not done leaving his mark on the 100 block of the street -- he's establishing a new business called Izzy's Burgers and Shakes.

"I have wanted to open a burger place for roughly 10 years now," Yanis said. "My daughter noticed first that downtown lacked a burger place and a teen hangout. I've been here for 20 years, and I don't see the kids hanging out downtown -- old-school-style with their families or friends. I want that in my community."

After speaking to his wife, the pair took a leap and purchased the old Jimmy John's, 128 E. High St. The building was perfect for the new restaurant, seeing as it's next to Coffee Zone and built to have a sit-down option.

"We would like to make a few goals happen," he said. "First, stay open later in the evenings so the kids can come. Second, make good food that people enjoy. Third, 10 minutes in and out for food."

Yanis has a few secrets up his sleeve for Izzy's that he's keeping under lock and key, but he teased they will serve Central Dairy ice cream.

"We have a target date in mind, but it's a puzzle; this is the first step of the puzzle," Yanis said. "We will keep people updated as we go along and cannot wait for this new journey."

Know of any business happenings around Jefferson City? Let us know at [email protected] or 573-761-0244.