The two found success separately with several restaurant projects throughout Colorado and elsewhere over the years. “We’ve always traded tips and visited each other’s restaurants and helped each other out through the years,” Linzinmeir says. “Finally, we spent some real time together and realized what we could share as a couple.”
The Linzinmeirs married in 2016 and went on to open Jovanina’s in November 2018. The restaurant is Jake’s ode to Jennifer, whose Sicilian family calls her Giovannina. The menu draws from local Colorado ingredients and takes a fresh, modern approach to Italian with shareable vegetable-forward dishes, seafood, steaks, and chops.
For many restaurant couples, balancing a relationship and a restaurant can be tough. Linzinmeir says that having off hours makes a real difference. “Denver has always been unique in that it’s acceptable to be closed one or two days a week,” he says. “This makes a big difference on all levels, not just for us as a couple, but for our team. It’s really hard to relax when the restaurant is open, even if you’re not there.”