145 Main Street, East Greenwich
(401) 884-6060
www.hillandharbourdiner.com

Jigger's traces its pedigree back to Lindy's, a restaurant opened by Vilgot "Jigger" Lindberg in 1917. It was located just north of a lunch cart which sat on the plot of land that Jigger's occupies today. Jigger bought the lunch cart around 1920 and sold so many hot dogs and hamburgers that he was able to replace it with a bigger diner in 1929 (Worcester Lunchcar #632). The larger space allowed Jigger to serve full dinners, increasing the popularity of his business in the 1930s to the point where, reportedly, "people would stand three deep behind the stools and even pass meals through a diner window to the small restaurant next door."

Jigger sold the business in 1941, after which it had a succession of owners. In 1950 the smaller diner was replaced with the present building, a thirty-six-seat 1947 Worcester Lunch Car (#826). Jigger's closed in 1983, and for the next decade was used to store paint for a nearby hardware store. Jigger's savior arrived in the early 1990s in the person of Carol Shriner, an entrepreneur and natural foods enthusiast, who made the rescue of the abandoned diner her personal mission.

Beginning in January 1992, Shriner restored the interior, retaining many of the original elements, like the green stools, the beige refrigerator locker doors, and the red clock. Jigger's reopened later the same year, ready to serve the greasy spoon needs of a new generation of patrons.

The menu includes a lot of creative takes on diner food—like cranberry and gingerbread pancakes, ham and portobello strata, and the Vermonticristo (three pieces of raisin French toast sandwiched with ham and cheddar cheese) —as well as the basic stuff. Ordering Jigger's Special will get you three temptifying johnnycakes along with two eggs and two diner-made sausage patties. A 1999 Providence Phoenix review praised the "creamy insides, crusty edges and non-sweet, flint-corn taste" of the johnnycakes, and we've rather enjoyed them, too.

Jigger's is now owned by Johnson & Wales-trained Iva Reynhout, who purchased the diner from Carol Shriner in 2000. Reynhout ably carries on with the diner's creative culinary tradition and, as she told the New York Times in 2007, has at least one additional goal: "I hope I can do it until the business is one hundred years old."

Reopening December 18, 2010, after a four month hiatus due to tax problems, Jigger's is scheduled to be open 6am to 1pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until further notice.

Awards

Rhode Island Monthly's Best of Rhode Island: Best Pancakes (1995), Best Diner Dinner (2004).
Rhode Island Monthly's Readers' Poll: Best Diner in the West Bay (1994-1996, 2001-2004, 2009-2010), Best Breakfast Place (2003), Best Breakfast in the West Bay (2006).

Reader Reviews

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Posted by Laury C on April 7, 2007
Member since April 2007
If you want to impress your date with your sense of style, your cutting edge chic, or your romantic charm, you might want to pass on Jigger's. But if you're looking for a good meal at a good price, in very modest surroundings, with the economy of BYOB to boot, Jigger's on Friday Night is a good bet. The menu is limited but innovative, with a couple of old standbys. One of them, the fish and chips, is among the very best in RI, which is saying a lot. Expect a wait if you arrive after 6.

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