Monday, September 25, 2023

Burger restaurant/nonprofit coming to former Johnny Joe’s store in Argyle

Johnny Joe’s, one of Argyle’s oldest businesses, has closed and will soon be replaced by a new burger restaurant that raises money for a good cause.

Jim Reid, a longtime developer in Houston, said Johnny Joe’s presented an opportunity to replicate good work he had done previously.

“I take old buildings, renovate them and make them new,” Reid said.

About 23 years ago, Reid’s young son Kevin was diagnosed with leukemia, and he relapsed about seven years later. During these times, Reid saw other families who were struggling emotionally and financially while their children fought cancer. Soon after, when a longtime Houston auto garage called Matthew’s Motors went out of business, Reid decided to renovate the space into a new restaurant that supported families of child cancer patients. Little Matt’s Cafe (named in honor of Matthew’s Motors) opened in 2009, and as a nonprofit, all of its net proceeds go to families. Reid also opened a daycare on the property.

More recently, Reid remarried and moved to Bartonville to be closer to some of his and his wife’s family members. He bought the property at 401 Hwy 377 and, “to accelerate the process,” bought out the remainder of the lease on the Johnny Joe’s store, which is now closed. Reid plans to renovate the old store and reopen it as a restaurant modeled after Little Matt’s and call it Little Joe’s. He said he’s hoping to open it soon, as soon as early next year if he can get permits and approval from the town quickly.

“I’ve got the design and the materials,” he said. “Everything is ready to go, I just got to get the permits.”

Like Little Matt’s, Little Joe’s will also be a nonprofit that will donate to families of North Texas pediatric cancer patients.

“It’s another attempt at helping other families that have gone through what we have,” Reid said.

Also like he did in Houston, Reid also wants to open a daycare in a small building in the rear of the Johnny Joe’s property. He received approval from Argyle Town Council last month to renovate the 1,500-square-foot building and run the Argyle Christian Academy out of it. It will offer full-time programs for kids 2 years old through Pre-K from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., as well as extended care from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Argyle Christian Academy will have up to 30 children, and it will be accredited, regulated and licensed through the Texas Health and Human Services.

Reid said he hopes Little Joe’s will expand the legacy of Little Matt’s and help many more people like his son Kevin, who sadly passed away in November 2021 at the age of 25, and their families.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Reid said. “I’m looking forward to bring something to the community and help others in need.”

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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