"It's one of the oldest standing buildings in Mahomet, it's been here since the early 1900's. If you see a lot of the early pictures of old Mahomet from the teens and 20's, you can always recognize this building."
The building has been here forever, but JT Walker's has become a downtown Mahomet staple in just the past few years.
"The first six months to a year were a little rough getting all the kinks worked out. Things have gotten a lot better and have kind of done what the community wanted to do and brought something I thought we needed in Mahomet."
What kind of background does a successful restaurant owner have?
"I actually was a sports journalism major in college, and worked at newspapers and radio stations and TV stations for a long time. I moved back here between jobs, and they actually happened to pass a liquor law here in Mahomet. When they decided to do that, I decided well, let's take a chance and open a place in my hometown, and stick around."
In spite of a lack of experience, Justin had a lot of resources to draw from when he was creating his vision.
"A few of the menu items are family recipes, a lot of my mom's recipes. Our chicken salad is my grandma Percers recipe."
It's not always the "same old, same old."
"We change our menu about once a year, where we update things, but there are certain things that always stay on there because they are very popular."
The theme of the restaurant is, well, no theme.
"It's a little bit of everything to everybody. It's kind of what you want to make it."
"JT Walker's is really whatever you want it to be. For instance, if you're standing here, it's a classy place. A good place to have a nice glass of wine. And, if you're sitting here, it's a sports bar, a great place to have a drink and watch some sports. From this perspective, it's a great place to come and have lunch. A lot of people are doing it."
There are a lot of loyal customers who have glowing reviews of everything.
"I haven't tried anything in here that I haven't like."
"The food is always good. The staff is always friendly. It's just a nice place to be."
I will say that the hand-breaded fried mushrooms are beyond words. Well, not so much beyond words as it's just hard to talk with my mouth full. The western burger was excellent, and the Jamaican jerk chicken wrap had just enough kick to make my eyes water a little.
For a little taste of small town hospitality and some great food, check out JT Walker's. Justin also plans to open a micro-brewery which should be up and running in early 2013.