JJ’s Carryout embraces Obama, but not change
| By Rhys Heyden |
In the estimation of Sarah Hines, 53, the Petworth neighborhood was, is, and will be the same, in perpetuity.
Hines, perched on a stool behind the counter of JJ’s Carryout, surveys her counter, her deep-fryers, and her flat top grills – the air heavy with oil and fried fish. Her son may be the owner of this establishment, but Hines is clearly in charge.
“We have been here 20 years, and we fit into the neighborhood perfectly,” Hines says. “Most people in this neighborhood have been here for a long time too.”
When the subject turns to the Walmart soon to grace the Petworth neighborhood, Hines is nonplussed.
“I’m not sure how that will change things,” Hines says. “We’ll see.”
Hines reacts similarly when asked about the incongruous presence of Healthy Bites Organic Carryout across the street. “I don’t see that many people over there,” said Hines, before adding that “they close early.”
Hines says she has lived in her current house “around the corner” for all 53 years of her life, as her mother before her also did.
“Ain’t nobody trying to sell nothing’,” Hines says. “I’m not going to give that house up.”
At JJ’s, Hines says she enjoys the collard greens, the mac and cheese, and her son’s special concoction – Barack Sauce.
“He came up with that when Obama was still just a senator,” Hines says. “It’s a big seller for sure.”
Ultimately, Hines says she enjoys her work and likes to please her customers. A regular walks in, and Hines promptly calls him “sweetie” before putting in his order.
“We just want to keep doing the same thing. It’s not broken, so we don’t need to fix it,” Hines says.