Jax Fish House, a Dave Query restaurant that has stood the test of time in LoDo for fifteen years, reopens its doors today with a brand new look. The renovation was not a quick cosmetic fix. The restaurant did not just change the floors or got new tables, or refinished the bar. No. On the first day of 2013, construction crews began to tear the space down to the core. A shell was left of the old Jax space and the rebuilding began from the ground up. In two weeks, Jax got gutted and rebuilt into its new and fresh iteration.
The space looks bigger, almost like an folded-in accordion that was stretched all the way out. That feeling comes from the massive marble-topped bar that now runs from its familiar start by the entrance through the former dining room and down to the very back of the space. Over the bar, spanning its extensive length, floats a wood-cutout installation that resembles the hull of a boat.
Comfortable booths replaced the bar-style seating that lined the far wall of the space and these booths wrap around the contour of the bar. The space looks brighter partially because of the addition of large sections of white tile onto the brick of the far wall of the space. Retro leather stools line the bar that slopes down to counter-height seating that allows diners to watch the show of the steam pots, a new addition to the cooking arsenal of Jax.
The physical changes inspired the chefs to revamp the menu. The layout of the menu follows the lines of the space with three sections: from the raw bar, from the counter, and from the kitchen. Freshly shucked oysters, peel n' eat shrimp, and more will be quickly served from the bar. The counter section includes a crudo and cold plates part and the steam pot preparations. In those three shiny steam pots, the Jax chefs plan to make anything from the mussels to gumbo, clam chowder to order, a chili crab Singaporean-style, and an oyster pan roast, a traditional East Coast dish. The dishes coming from the kitchen will include more composed entrees, but in the old-school large portion way. All the plates have shrunk a bit in size and the prices have shrunk even more to allow diners to experience several smaller plates.
For the first time in the restaurant's history, lunch will be served, beginning on Tuesday, January 22. A variety of starters from crab cakes to steamers will be available and a few crafted sandwiches will be served as well. These include a Reuben made with house-cured pastrami, hamburgers with house-made bread, a fish sandwich, a tuna salad sandwich, and the killer po boys that the restaurant always made.
Regular dinner service begins tonight.
· The End of Jax LoDo As You Know It [EDen]
· Jax, Cuba Cuba, and Udi's to Open in City Set Project [EDen]
· Jax Remodel: Smooth Sailing, Reopening Jan. 18 [EDen]
· Tamayo Is Preparing for a Massive Makeover [EDen]
JAX Fish House [Photography by Jennifer Olson]