The long-delayed O.C. Haley money pit Jack & Jake's has been through some major shakeups in the past few months leading to its inevitable demise—well, to a big rebranding move anyways. You may recall that 'visionary' CEO John Burns stepped down in September after the $17.7 million dollar two-story market (which also got a $1 million loan from the city) had stalled out indefinitely. Ian McNulty now reports that Three Muses chef and pasta guru Dan Esses is managing the project, which is now called Dryades Public Market and is already open. Kind of.
A coffee bar, featuring French Truck Coffee, and a sandwich shop are operating on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and a salad bar will open by next week. Meanwhile, Esses' main goal is to get the market operational by the end of the year:
By December... the market should be a more complete picture, with produce, meat, seafood, dairy and dry goods for grocery shopping, prepared foods for on-site or grab-and-go meals and many other facets of food and drink to come.
But with that plan comes more changes for the space, and thus, renovations of renovations are now underway. You may recall Jack & Jake's elaborate plans for two restaurants, bars, a wine cave and cheese cave, a seed bank and more dreamy attractions along with a grocery store. Most of this is no longer happening. Esses verifies that Tableau alum/anticipated chef Ben Thibodeaux has parted ways with the market, so NO restaurants are expected. Esses also tells Eater that the upstairs will remain open for now, but he'd like to use the space as an art market in the future.
As for new plans, here's what Esses tells Eater is heading to the new Dryades Public Market:
- The cheese cave will become an Esses Foods pasta shop.
- A downstairs bar will feature a cocktail menu from beloved Three Muses bartender Kimberly Patton Bragg.
- Former Eater young gun and 'meat mama' Leighann Smith is on board to run the grocery's butcher and seafood selection.
- A New York-style deli will be added and Korean rice bowl station will be added, and there will be various prepared foods
- At night, the market will function somewhat like Bacchanal with live music, food and wine/drinks for purchase
- Esses plans to source the market with local grocery items as much as possible, but his main priority is bring affordable options to the community.
- A few outside vendors will be brought in to rent space, including an oyster bar and smoothie bar.