Jimmy's story begins 1902 the year Jimmy was born. Jimmy was born in small Midwestern town of the USA. Jimmy always loved to travel and at 17 years of age in the year of 1919 Jimmy joined the US army and found himself in Siberia by the end of 1920, after a couple of assignments in SE Asia Jimmy eventually ended up Tientsin (Tianjin China).
1922 while stationed in China Jimmy was discharged from the US services Jimmy quickly found a job with an Asian development company and started to make a name for himself in the hospitality industry in China. Jimmy was so well known that by 1923 he was enlisted by the US government to the position of Deputy Marshal in Shanghai.
During the early part of 1924 there was an acute, unsatisfied craving for hamburgers in Chefoo (now Yantai), and in response to this demand Jimmy opened a hamburger stand on the docks in Chefoo on the north coast of Shantung. Chefoo was at the time a summer anchorage point for foreign navy's especially the US Asiatic Squadron and his hamburger stand was a smashing success. He also at this time opened a popcorn stand in Shanghai.
- 1924, Jimmy opened his first full service restaurant on Broadway (now Da Ming Lu) in Shanghai's dockland district called ‘The Broadway Lunch' located at 105 Broadway opposite the Savoy Hotel.
- 1925, "The Broadway Lunch" changed its name because the regulars had come to know Jimmy and by then and they referred to his restaurant as "Jimmys", ignoring its proper title. Later that year, Jimmy officially changed the name to "Jimmys Kitchen". Now the customers identified the locale and its marvelous food with the ever popular owner Jimmy.
- 1927 July, Jimmy expanded his business with a second “Jimmy’s” located on the nearby Nanjing Rd East (formerly called Bubbling Well Road) at No 212 Szechuan Rd, next door to the Navy YMCA.
- 1927 Aaron Landau, an adventurer who was travelling down from Russia met Jimmy, who was now a retired US serviceman in Shanghai and the owner Jimmy's Kitchen Shanghai. Aaron and Jimmy quickly became close friends and ultimately business partners. They struck a deal whereby Aaron would proceed to Hong Kong and open another Jimmy's Kitchen, so that both restaurants could benefit by exchanging clients between the two thriving port cities.
- 1928 ‘Aaron Landau' opened the first Jimmy's Kitchen near the Seamen's Institute and old China Fleet Club, Lockhart Road, Wanchai which served the British navy in Hong Kong.
- 1934 Jimmy's Kitchen HK moved to China Building, in Theatre Lane, Queens Road Central, near King's Theatre (Queen's Theatre until recently) in Central and was run by Leo Landau, Aarons son.
- 1941 December, Jimmy's Kitchen HK closed!! It was closed after the Japanese invaded HK. Then Leo Landau was sent to a Japanese war prison in Sham Shui Po.
- 1942 March, Jimmy and his family (wife and two daughters) were interned in the Chapei Civilian Internment Camp on the outskirts of Shanghai. While interned Jimmy was put in charge of the camp kitchen.
- 1945 August, the Japanese surrendered Shanghai. Jimmy and his family were released. Jimmy returned to his businesses in Shanghai until the Communist takeover and the start of the Cultural Revolution.
- 1945 August, the Japanese surrender HK Leo Landau returned to Jimmy’s Kitchen HK and reopened the Theatre Lane restaurant with many of the surviving staff members serving food to the British and American Military personal.
- 1947 Aaron Landau retired from the Hong Kong business leaving for his son Leo Landau to run.
- 1948 during the Communist takeover and the start of the Cultural Revolution, Jimmy lost or sold all of his businesses in Shanghai. Jimmy left Shanghai and returned to Dallas Texas USA, where he lived until he passed away in 1990.
- The legacy of Jimmy's Kitchen has remained in Hong Kong since the partners set up operations in both cities.
- 1949 Aaron Landau passed away, and Aaron's family and partners kept the business going strong in Hong Kong for the next 15 years.
- 1966 Neil Mackenzie, a cousin of Aaron's joined the restaurant in Hong Kong.
- 1969 22nd August Jimmy's Kitchen Kowloon was opened at G/F J. Hotung House 何鴻卿大廈, Hankow Rd, TST (now Hankow Ctr).
- 1975 Jimmy's Kitchen Central opened on the Ground Floor of South China Building, 1-3 Wyndham St, with 120 seats. This ‘staggered move' was done because The China Building where Jimmy's Kitchen was located until this time was due to be torn down and redeveloped at the end of 1975.
- 1975 Jimmy's Kitchen Central opened on the Ground Floor of New China Building, 1-3 Wyndham Street (5-265293), with 120 seats. This ‘staggered move' was done because The China Building where Jimmy's Kitchen was located until this time was due to be torn down and redeveloped at the end of 1975.
- 1978 Jimmy's Kitchen celebrated its 50th anniversary in Hong Kong.
1982 Jimmy's Kitchen Kowloon moved to 1/F Kowloon Centre, Ashley Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui with 130 seats.
- 1985 Neil Mackenzie and Peter Schlipf bought the Jimmy's Group from the Landau family.
- 1990 June at age 88, ‘Shanghai Jimmy' passed away in Dallas, Texas. His obituary was posted in the Dallas Morning News on 16th June 1990.
- 1994 Jimmy's Kitchen Kowloon celebrated its 25th Anniversary by serving lunch at 1969 prices.
- In the late 1990's Aarons son, Leo ‘Jimmy' Landau passed away in Seattle, Washington where he had resided since moving out of Hong Kong.
- 2002 Epicurean Group purchases Jimmy's Group from Neil Mackenzie & Peter Schlipf who retire & move back to Australia & the UK respectively.
- 2003 Jimmy's Kitchen Central celebrates its 75th Anniversary.
- 2006 Jimmy's Kitchen in Central is totally renovated.
- 2008 Jimmy's Kitchen, TST is relocated from the 1/F of the Kowloon Centre to the G/F of the same building. This also coincides with its 80 Anniversary party.
- 2010 July Jimmy's Kitchen marks its return to its roots with the opening of Jimmy's Kitchen Shanghai. Jimmy's will finally close the circle of 85 years of history by bringing the iconic ‘Jimmy's Kitchen' back to Shanghai in the Historic Jin Jiang Hotel in the French Concession.
- 2011 Jimmy’s Kitchen marks its return to its roots with the opening of JK Shanghai. Jimmy's will finally close the circle of 85 years of history by bringing the iconic ‘JK' back to Shanghai in the Historic Jin Jiang Hotel in the French Concession.