POSTED Mon. Jun 8, 2015

Perspectives

Central City Awaits Jack and Jake's
Written by KENNETH SOLTIS
SHARE

There’s a lot of ambition invested in Jack and Jake’s Public Market, which soon stands to join the businesses along the commercial corridor of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in Central City. Plans for the venture — which will include fresh produce, meat, seafood, groceries, two restaurant concepts, a bar, a gardening department, and a teaching kitchen — are vast in scope.

“The mission of the company, which is for-profit but very mission-oriented, is to get better food into underserved communities, be they hospitals, schools, or communities like Central City, and simultaneously provide a marketplace for the many growers in the area,” said Daniel Momont, Jack and Jake’s director of food and beverage.

O.C. Haley, a once-vibrant business district that long suffered from urban decay, has seen a recent wave of development including a new location for the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, a performance-arts venue in the New Orleans Jazz Market, and the Adolfo Garcia-led restaurant Primitivo.

Jack and Jake’s will be the newest addition to O.C. Haley’s revitalization when it opens. The market awaits inspection approval. Once passed, the company estimates a soft opening within 4-6 weeks, but a hard opening date has yet to be announced.

The market occupies the first two floors of the former Myrtle Banks School, which has sat unused for several years, blighted by fire damage. A renovation gutted the building’s innards while maintaining its facade. The overhaul reportedly cost the developer, Alembic Community Development, well over ten million dollars.

“I really think it’s a great re-purposing,” said Carol Bebelle, co-founder and director of Central City’s nearby Ashe Cultural Arts Center. The nonprofit has collaborated with a network of organizations and people to solve neighborhood problems and create opportunities for nearly 17 years.

“I expect Jack and Jake’s will contribute to the quality of life in Central City,” wrote Bebelle in a statement. The managers of the market also hope to bring jobs to the area. “We’re focusing on hiring people from Central City,” said Rob Huffman, Jack and Jake’s community outreach manager.

Fresh food for the neighborhood

Central City is characterized as a “food desert” on the Jack and Jake’s website due to the community’s deprived access to fresh food. “We are going to be servicing Central City, which doesn’t have a grocery store at the moment,” said Daniel Momont. Adding, “We’re going to be servicing tourists, and New Orleanians in general.”

Jack and Jake’s will emphasize fresh, local produce. The store plans to offer affordable fresh fruits and vegetables to the community through its wholesale operation; the hope is the company’s enlarged purchasing volume will drive produce costs down.

Carol Bebelle thinks the access to fresh food will be a boon to Central City. “It’s still a cooking community,” she said. “There are jobs available and access to fresh food. A good community and commerce duo.”

Inside the spacious market, the second-floor mezzanine wraps a wide rectangle around the open floor plan of the store’s entrance. The balcony overlooks three crystal chandeliers, which dangle above the white canopies of several traditionally styled French market carts earmarked for produce display. Beyond the produce section and below the mezzanine’s overhang on the first floor, cooler displays delineate areas reserved for seafood, prepared foods, a butcher, baked goods, and a cheese counter.

The first floor will also house a coffee bar, walk-in beer cooler, retail space for wine, and a hybrid oyster bar and gastro pub restaurant concept. The facility has a full-service kitchen and will offer the same menu for an estimated 130 indoor and outdoor seats interspersed throughout the first floor. Plans for the upstairs mezzanine include a bourbon bar, a second restaurant, dry groceries, a gardening department, and a teaching kitchen.

The store has a handsome, rustic decor. Exposed beams line the produce area’s ceiling. Builders salvaged wood boards from the original structure, some of which were reused in the store’s flooring and display shelves. Antiques — baskets, scales, and a large wooden farm cart — decorate the downstairs shopping area and will be used for product displays. Some of these, including the cart, are for sale.

The company expects to grow an “edible landscape” on the green space around the building. A citrus orchard will run along O.C. Haley, and a fig orchard will occupy the ground along Erato and N. Rampart Streets.

Rob Huffman, who is a seven-year veteran of urban farming in the Lower Ninth Ward, runs the gardening department. The citrus trees will be dedicated to victims of violence. The trees, and another planned, garden will be accessible to the community. “As soon as you put up fences, you block out the community,” said Huffman.

Several businesses along O.C. Haley eagerly anticipate the market’s opening. Hugo Montero, owner of Casa Borrega restaurant, said, “As a business man, it’s all good. I think it’s important that the area has as many places open as possible for traffic.” Speaking for her community development organization, Carol Bebelle said, “We’re waiting with bated breath.”

Images courtesy of Facebook.

POSTED Nov 1, 2017

Events

Boudin! Bourbon! Beer!

Boudin! Bourbon! Beer!

November 3rd will mark the 7th celebration of annual Boudin, Bourbon & Beer Festival, where over 60 of the nation’s best chefs come together for the love of…....
CONTINUE

POSTED May 17, 2017

Perspectives

An Ode to Burger

An Ode to Burger

While I harbor no ill will towards vegetarianism, or its faithful, I worship at the altar of Burger. For my earnest and dutiful reverence, I’m frequently rewarded with…....
CONTINUE

Written by AMIE MARVEL
POSTED Dec 30, 2016

NOLA History

Bearing Witness at the Whitney Plantation

Bearing Witness at the Whitney Plantation

Visitors to New Orleans often make day trips to the old Gold Coast plantations along the Mississippi river, where wealthy landowners made a fortune growing sugarcane harvested with…....
CONTINUE

Written by CREE MCCREE
POSTED Dec 28, 2016

Perspectives

The Quest for the Perfect Bagel

The Quest for the Perfect Bagel

Ten years ago, you’d be hard-pressed to find a decent bagel in New Orleans. Mostly because none of the locals were looking for a bagel. This city is…....
CONTINUE

PAGE

    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.

    WWNO

    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at WWNO.org.

    WWOZ

    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.

    PRC

    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.

    NOMA

    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.

    X

    Thanks.

    was added to your favorites.

    VIEW YOUR PROFILE

     


    Share On Twitter Share On Facebook