The Great Jones Cafe was once a no-frills, slightly grungy Noho classic, serving up affordable, cult-favorite Cajun eats to the Bowery’s punks and artists since the 1980s. So when it shuttered last year after the death of owner Jim Moffett, locals mourned the loss of a true downtown icon.
But it’s back, and like the city itself, it’s both changed and stayed the same.
Now dubbed simply “The Jones,” a common nickname given to it by regulars, the space boasts the same orange and blue facade as always, black letters spelling out “JONES,” same neon EAT sign and Elvis bust in the window.
Step inside, however, and it’s a different story. With restaurateur Gabriel Stulman now at the helm, the old light-strung and jukebox-boasting interiors have been brightened up and replaced by fresh blooms, a light wood communal dining table, and a plush leather couch.
The menu, too, has gotten an update thanks to head chef and partner Jack Harris. The Cajun/Creole cuisine has been replaced by fancier (and fishier) options like poached head-on prawns, tuna carpaccio with olive oil, and a fried cod sandwich inspired by, at least, the McDonald’s fish fillet. For breakfast, pastries, omelettes, and a bluefish tartine.
It’s a bittersweet return, but a return nonetheless. And according to Eater, the owners hope to keep the spirit of the original alive. “Our goals are not Michelin stars or James Beard Awards. We want to build spots you come to three, four times a week. We want to be your best friend; your favorite pair of jeans. Not your special occasion spot.”
View this post on InstagramFinishing touches: plating to perfection. #jonesing
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