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New Orleans restaurant news including The Big Cheezy, Jack & Jake’s and Balise


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The Mid-City grilled cheese joint, The Big Cheezy (422 1/2 S. Broad St., 540-302-2598;, is opening a "permanent pop-up" in the kitchen space at Dragon's Den (435 Esplanade Ave., 504-940-5546) starting Oct. 1, the owners said.

  The Broad Street sandwich and tomato soup hawkers are replacing Korean food vendor Seoul Shack (, which opened inside the Esplanade Avenue bar last fall. That business is moving to an unannounced location on St. Claude Avenue. Adam York and Josh Fogarty opened the flagship location earlier this year.

  The menu at the Dragon's Den will be a streamlined version of the one at Mid-City, including the Mac 'n' Cheezy and the Crazy Old Goat. The team is adding a few new items to the mix, such as a sloppy joe grilled cheese and a selection of loaded cheese fries, York said.

  No changes are afoot at the Mid-City location, but York says Creole Creamery milkshakes will be available there soon.

  The Dragon's Den location open at 5 p.m. and serve until "late" Thursday through Monday.

   The opening of Central City grocer Jack & Jake's Public Market (1307 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 504-333-6100; may have hit another setback: Employees with the company confirmed this week that founder John Burns has stepped down as CEO.

  The 30,000-square-foot "food hub" inside the former Myrtle Banks Elementary School spans a block and is expected to feature two-full service restaurants, an oyster bar, two specialty butchers, a cheese cave and a fresh produce stand.

  The store, which aims to bring fresh and affordable food to Central City residents, originally was slated to open a year ago. In May, Burns said the store on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard would open "very soon," but operators at the long-delayed project now predict a fall opening.

  Benjamin Warnke, a partner in the company, is serving as acting CEO while a national search is underway for Burns' replacement.

  Burns and Warnke did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

  • Warehouse District hotspot Balise (640 Carondelet St., 504-459-4449; added brunch service recently. Chef Justin Devillier's menu includes staples from the restaurant's lunch and dinner menus (cheeseburger with "comeback" sauce, pickled quail eggs, CBD Cobb salad) as well as egg and brunch favorites. Pain perdu comes with chicory butter, pecan crumble and cane syrup glaze; braised beef cheeks are served with pepper relish, pearl onions and a smoked poached egg; buttermilk biscuits are topped with black truffle gravy and tarragon scrambled eggs. Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.


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