Jaquay's Chicken and Waffles: Dickinson eatery serves brunch-style friendship

Popular wing flavors include lemon pepper and spicy barbecue. (Courtesy Jaquay's Chicken and Waffles)
Popular wing flavors include lemon pepper and spicy barbecue. (Courtesy Jaquay's Chicken and Waffles)

Popular wing flavors include lemon pepper and spicy barbecue. (Courtesy Jaquay's Chicken and Waffles)

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Owner Isaac Sheldon envisions Jaquay's as a safe, welcoming place for community members to get a meal. (Courtesy Jaquay's Chicken and Waffles)
Owner Sheldon Isaac sees Jaquay’s Chicken and Waffles as more than just somewhere to get a meal.

Isaac takes a photo with every customer that comes into the restaurant as they listen to the music playing and wait for their food, he said. As someone who does ministry work, he also often prays over patrons.

“We just like to have a fun environment,” he said of what customers can expect at the building on St. Goar Street in Dickinson. “I really don’t call it a restaurant. Our goal is to make people feel comfortable.”

As customers of all walks of life are made to feel like they are among family at home, they can also expect brunch-style platters of chicken and waffles topped with a signature sweet drizzle sauce. Traditional syrup is served on the side.

Many wash their food down with a one-of-a-kind Shorty’s Swirl. The tropical Kool-Aid drink is made by Isaac each day, and no two days of swirls are mixed with the same flavor ratios, he said.

Wings can be ordered in one of five varieties, of which lemon pepper and spicy barbecue are the most popular, Isaac said. Sides and extras include fries, dirty rice, Cajun corn, salad and several desserts.

Isaac started the eatery with his family and a few trusted staffers in February 2019 after owning and operating several businesses in other parts of south Houston. The name Jaquay’s comes from part of his middle name.

He frequents the Atlanta area, which is where he saw firsthand how popular chicken and waffles can be as a menu item any time of the day, he said. This makes it the ideal item to serve, both given the smaller storefront space and given the lack of other chicken and waffles establishments in the area, he added.

Jaquay’s does not offer indoor seating due to space limitations amid COVID-19, but takeout orders have kept the business thriving, Isaac said. He hopes to open additional Jaquay’s locations in Pearland and Houston, since Jaquay’s gets many customers from these areas, he said.

Just as people are treated like family when they eat at Jaquay’s, staff go the extra mile to help area residents and business owners whenever possible in their times of need.

The business has donated meals to underserved communities and made other charitable efforts. Community members return the favor, with people frequently dropping off cleaning supplies, water and even packs of chicken for use at Jaquay’s, Isaac said.

“I take pride in that more than anything else,” he said of the mutual acts of service. “It’s what heaven would look like.”
By Colleen Ferguson

Reporter, Bay Area

A native central New Yorker, Colleen worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact Newspaper before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. She covers public education, higher education, business and development news in southeast Houston. Colleen graduated in 2019 from Syracuse University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she worked for the university's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange. Her degrees are in journalism and Spanish language and culture. When not chasing a story, Colleen can be found petting cats and dogs, listening to podcasts, swimming or watching true crime documentaries.