Rexburg diner permanently closed after 51 years of business - East Idaho News
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Rexburg diner permanently closed after 51 years of business

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REXBURG – JB’s Restaurant, a staple in Rexburg for 51 years, suddenly closed its doors Monday.

Manager Demri Trevizo tells she learned it was being sold. Jake Muller, who owns Red Rabbit Grill and Pizza Pie Cafe, is finalizing a deal with restaurant owners to buy the business.

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Since the sale isn’t final, Muller declined to provide details about his plans for the building. But Trevizo says JB’s is permanently closing and a new tenant will soon occupy the space.

“It was a shock. I didn’t even get to tell my morning regulars,” Trevizo says.

The reason for the sale, according to Trevizo, is due in part to the passing of the previous owner, Robert Wheaton, last October.

His wife took over ownership but it was too much for her to deal with and she listed it for sale.

Wheaton owned JB’s in Rexburg for many years. It’s not clear who the original owner was.

The JB’s franchise was founded by Jack Broberg in 1961, according to an old newspaper report. It started as an affiliate for Big Boy Restaurants in Provo, Utah.

“Broberg chose the location because many students at Brigham Young University in Provo came from Southern California where Big Boy was popular,” the report says.

The Rexburg location opened in 1971.

JB’s dropped its affiliation with Big Boy in 1988.

In 1995, at the height of the restaurant’s popularity, there were 104 locations nationwide. The chain was forced to close in 2019 after a series of bankruptcies.

The Rexburg location is the only remaining JB’s restaurant in Idaho, Trevizo says, and one of only a few stores nationwide.

Trevizo, who has worked at the Rexburg eatery for the last seven years, is “heartbroken” over the closure.

“I gave a lot of my time to this place,” she says through tears. “It really is hard to see it go. We had so many regulars that have become family.”

She’s going to miss associating with patrons. will have a follow-up story soon with details about the new owners plans for the building.