Jack McKemy has been a certified chef for 47 years and Barrier Jackís is his eighth restaurant. He was not planning on opening another establishment when he relocated to Cocoa Beach in 1988, but he came across a property that caught his eye and the circumstances were just right for another venture. Jack had no way to predict that within a week of signing the lease, he would have to to withstand three hurricanes. Jack opened Barrier Jackís October 22nd, 2004. Because of the weather, it took eleven months to get his now famous big sign up, so for the first year he just had a three by five sandwich board. It took fourteen months to fix the canopy, lights, and everything out front – the first two years were pretty rough to say the least. Jack just kept persevering, even though the economy crash of 2008. At Barrier Jackís, the full menu is available all day. ìMost of the time you can get tamales at seven in the morning,î Jack explained. They are currently open for breakfast and lunch every day, and open for dinner Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. For dinner Jack offers specials such as Smothered Pork Chop with Onion Gravy, Prime Rib, French Onion Soup and Crab Stuffed Shrimp. Everything at Barrier Jackís is made from scratch, including the sauces and dressings. Jack classifies himself as a working chef, meaning that he has always been in the kitchen on the front line. ìMost of us working chefs, except for the smarter ones, really donít have hobbies because we work all the time. So when you retire, you have nothing to do and then you die!î Jack explained with a chuckle. His grand idea with Barrier Jackís is to create a franchise where the older working chefs can create the sauces and dressings and specials but teach the young guys how to do really cool things from scratch, instead of just pulling everything from the freezer and throwing it into the fryer. All the recipes are Jackís own creations. He is even getting ready to bottle his own habanero sauce! Three hurricanes and an awful economy couldnít stop Barrier Jacks. Nothing should stop you from giving it a try!
410 N Atlantic Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931