CAMBRIDGE — The doors at Jimmie & Sook’s Raw Bar & Grill in downtown Cambridge will be closed for a five-day stretch in the first week of February, but owner Amanda Bramble said that the interruption will be for a good cause, one that she has been dreaming about since she and her husband, Tim Wright, designed and built the restaurant five years ago — new floors.
“It’s killing me that we have to close for a few days and I’m worried it will upset our customers, but I hope they understand,” said Bramble, a Dorchester County native. “Someone made me think about it the other day, how Jimmie & Sook’s has not been closed for years, other than at Easter and Christmas, and of course during the occasional blizzard. And trust me, we wouldn’t be closed this time if there was any way to run a restaurant and remove floors at the same time.”
The restaurant is slated to re-open for dinner on the evening of Friday, Feb. 5, five days after closing its doors on Sunday, Jan. 31. In addition to the new flooring and various maintenance upgrades, workers will be installing new tables and booths, as well as freshening up aspects of the restaurant’s décor.
“When we were building out this Poplar Street location five years ago, we simply ran out of money,” Bramble said. “Non-essential things ended up on my wish list, with the biggest one being a fabulous new floor.
“We now have built up the funds to start tackling that wish list,” Bramble said. “The way I look at it, investing in all this work is a way of showing our commitment to this area, to downtown Cambridge, and to our local customers — letting everyone know that we are here to stay.”
Jimmie and Sook’s Raw Bar and Grill opened in downtown Cambridge in 2009. The restaurant honors local watermen with a menu filled with seafood dishes and features live music. The restaurant also features separate bar and dining areas, with room for live music and a banquet hall on the second floor for events.
Dishes include everything from crab cakes and oysters Rockefeller to meatloaf and chicken and dumplings. Bramble shares the recipes of her late grandmother as well as the watermen’s heritage that runs deep in her family.
For the past two years, Bramble and Wright also operated a second restaurant in far-off Belize. They recently sold that property.
“We may continue to seek adventure by taking on new ventures in different places,” Bramble said of the couple’s plans. “Belize was a great experience, but one thing it taught us for sure is that there is no place like home, blizzards and all.”
The restaurant will be showing off its new improvements at an open-to-the-public party from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, celebrating its seventh anniversary in business. Local musicians The Steel Ticklers will be performing, and Bramble will be drawing the name of a winner that night for a trip for two to Belize. This is the restaurant’s second annual Caribbean vacation giveaway. There is no admission charge to the party.
“Our customers have given us the opportunity to experience seven years of success,” Bramble said. “Whether it’s by giving them better booths to sit their bottoms on when they come in to eat or doing trip giveaways and special events like the anniversary party, we are always looking for fun new ways to say thank you.”