CAMBRIDGE — A staple of downtown Cambridge is reopening as longtime Jimmie & Sook’s owners Amanda Bramble and Tim Wright will team up with fellow entrepreneurs Tammy and Tracy Lynndee at the restaurant’s Poplar Street location.
Bramble plans to remain involved in the business she started 12 years ago by taking a behind the scenes roles as the Lynndees, who operate two Maiden Maryland businesses just up the street from the restaurant, take the helm.
The Lynndees as new operators are adding a third project to their Poplar Street portfolio of ventures. The wife-and-wife team first opened an artisan-based retail shop in 2019, followed three months later by an ice cream parlor that eventually grew into a dessert shop.
In addition to operating the existing restaurant with a similar menu, the Lynndees are opening the bar portion of the eatery as a uniquely themed space that honors and celebrates law enforcement, first responders and members of the military called “The Line.”
The name “The Line” represents the difficult and dangerous service frequently required of the heroes that the section of the establish recognizes, whether it is military troops “holding the line,” the law enforcement community’s “thin blue line” or the hose line that firefighters use to battle fires, said Tracy Lynndee.
Tracy Lynndee described the vision of that component of the restaurant as being a patriotic Hard Rock Cafe-style establishment, complete with individual, unit and agency memorabilia, and framed black and white photos of local heroes adorning the walls.
“We are really looking forward to seeing Jimmie & Sook’s continue to evolve as the Lynndees come aboard,” Bramble said. “Tammy and Tracy are full of fresh ideas — it’s going to be a fun ride as they turn those ideas into reality.”
The new partnership is built on connections that go beyond running businesses located a few doors apart on the same street. Both Tammy Lynndee and Bramble hail from families with deep roots in the communities of remote south Dorchester County.
Tammy Lynndee’s grandmother, Lorraine, and Bramble’s grandmother, Louise were sisters, both family matriarchs spent most of their lives “Down Below” in Toddville, Crocheron and on Hoopers Island.
The new partnership between owners and operators began as a simple “check-in” between cousins. Bramble shared the news that her husband was considering returning to the accounting field, which would likely mean taking an out-of-town job. Tammy Lynndee shared the news that her wife was thinking about leaving law enforcement after spending more than 26 years in that field. The small talk of those coming transitions for both families soon evolved into a serious business conversation.
“In the span of just a few days, our conversation touched on many possible scenarios,” said Tammy Lynndee. “Where we ended up is a win-win that opens up promising opportunities for both families.”
The Lynndees will continue to own and operate both the Maiden Maryland store and the Maiden Maryland Sweets & Treats dessert shop, and Bramble and Wright will retain ownership of the restaurant and its building even after their possible move to a new town.
The Lynndees plan to keep the menu at Jimmie & Sook’s focused on the tradition of seafood dishes, comfort foods and other items prepared in scratch-kitchen fashion with the fresh ingredients.
“It’s been great fun so far working with Tammy and Tracy on the new ideas they have,” Bramble said. “I’ve been telling friends that it’s a match made in heaven— and I mean that literally, because both our grandmothers came from South Dorchester!”
In the days leading up the soft opening, the Lynndees were busy with preparations, but Tracy Lynndee took time to receive an important cornerstone to the collection of memorabilia from the family of recently deceased Wicomico County Sheriff Hunter Nelms.
Nelms’s son Patrick, daughter-in-law Julie and grandsons Ewan, Declan and Aidan brought shadow boxes containing Nelms’s sheriff and Air Force uniforms, as well as badges from various stages of his career, including as Maryland State Police trooper, the chief of Delmar Police, and chief deputy of Wicomico County before serving as sheriff for 23 years.
“We thought it would be a nice way to honor the sheriff and showcase his life,” Lynndee said.
Proudly honoring Nelms through displaying his uniforms and badges is particularly special for Tracy Lyndee, who started her law enforcement career as a deputy in his agency. “He was really beloved in Wicomico County,” Lynndee said of the 6’5” sheriff who Patrick Nelms remembered as being “larger than life.”
In addition to honoring heroes through theme and decor, all first responders and military with official photo ID receive a 6% discount because the Lynndees want them to know “We have your six,” a reference to having someone’s back using clock position terminology.
Anyone wishing to submit a photo for display on the wall should bring it to the restaurant. Heroes killed in the line of duty will be featured in 8x10 photos on the top, and others will be placed in 4x6 and 5x7 frames. More information can be found by calling 410-228-0008 or emailing email@example.com.
The Lynndees and staff are on track for a grand opening on June 16.
Mike Detmer is a staff writer for the Dorchester Star and Star Democrat based in Maryland. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.