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The original item was published from 2/22/2022 1:51:00 PM to 2/22/2022 2:34:00 PM.

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Home - Downtown Clayton

Posted on: February 22, 2022

[ARCHIVED] The Secret to Great Hot Dogs and Perfect Inspection Scores: Jones Cafe

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For many Clayton residents, Jones Cafe is an iconic component of this town’s downtown landscape, hometown traditions, and history. In a town that has experienced an abundance of opportunity, change, and growth, Jones Cafe is one place that has remained untouched by time.

“We believe that people come back to Jones Cafe for the nostalgic touch, consistently tasty food, and home-like environment,” said Chrystal Jones, who owns Jones Cafe with her husband Burr Jones.


Jones Cafe has been in business and serving up its signature hotdogs since 1958. Over the last 64 years, Jones Cafe has taken pleasure in changing as little as possible. A few modest updates, cosmetic repairs, and menu expansions have taken place, but Jones Cafe maintains the same great flavors and atmosphere that got it off the ground in the late 50s.

It’s not hard to understand how Jones Cafe has withstood the test of time. The establishment prides itself on excellent customer service, committed employees, and a seven-year record of perfect health inspection scores.

During the January 4, 2021, WRAL Restaurant Ratings, Monica Laliberte and 5 on Your Side stated that Jones Cafe is a “spot that shines above the rest.”

Jones Cafe has scored 100s on every health inspection since 2015. That is twenty-seven 100s in a row.

“Maintaining consistent, perfect scores all comes down to one thing: hard work. We work so hard to meet and exceed state guidelines in every way possible, maintain a healthy and safe dining establishment, and maintain the charm that makes Jones Cafe special,” said Jones.

Jones gives acknowledgment and appreciation to the cafe’s loyal employees. “Without their commitment to our common goals, we would not be able to keep the doors open, much less maintain a perfect sanitation score,” said Jones.

The Johnston County Environmental Health Department Sanitation Inspections occur three times per year. During the inspection, the restaurant is examined for over 50 potential violations. A score of 90 percent or higher qualifies the restaurant as a “Grade A” establishment.

“Our record of perfect sanitation scores shows our commitment to cleanliness, and it also shows our customers how hard we work,” said Jones.

It is a challenge to obtain and maintain this level of excellence, and Jones expresses that the record means everything to the Jones family and their employees. “We work diligently to ensure our customers have a great experience every single time they dine with us,” said Jones.

Clayton’s consistent patronage of Jones Cafe is another phenomenon that will not be changing anytime soon.

Watch WRAL’s Restaurant Ratings featuring Jones Cafe below. 

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