Thanks to our friends at The Islander for this update. Excerpt of article by Tiffany Repecki follows. We’ll keep you posted on the re-opening as we learn more!
The Jacaranda Restaurant has switched hands and the new owners are nearing an opening date.
Re-opening as The Jac Island Grille and Rum Bar, Eve and Alex Alves purchased the restaurant from Dr. Darayes Mobed, who had owned the venue since 2005, in November. Over the past couple of months, Eve Alves has been gutting and updating the site for her farm-to-table scratch kitchen and restaurant.
“It’s a total remodel,” she said, adding that the plumbing and wiring had to be redone. “Brand new tile in and out. The bathrooms were redone. We built a bar inside the restaurant to open it up.”
Alves described the new decor as Sanibel Island-y. “So it’s a lot of light wood,” she said of the before and after. “It’s like day and night.”
Born and raised in the restaurant business, Alves’ parents immigrated from Cyprus in the 1940s. Residing in New York and later Miami, the first family restaurant was a Jewish deli in 1968. “He had a total of five restaurants,” she said of her father.
Alves attended culinary school in London, England. She had a restaurant in Key Largo, which was part of the family for 36 years, and has owned and operated Luna Rossa Italian Grill, in the Miromar Outlets in Fort Myers, for about a decade.
“All of my restaurants are scratch kitchens,” Alves said. “Everything’s made in-house.”
Farm-to-table means locally-grown organic vegetables and fresh seafood and meat.
“We take pride in what we serve and what goes on the plate,” she said.
Philipe Schroeder has been hired as the executive chef. After attending culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco, Schroeder has since worked in premier restaurants in Hawaii and Texas.
“I think the biggest thing that I want to bring to the table here is freshness,” when asked about the new Jac Island Grille and Rum Bar menu.
“It’ll be a lot of local seafood and some really good steaks — all cut in-house. I make my own bread and buns,” he said. “A couple of pasta dishes, and we’re going to be making that fresh in house.”
In the scratch kitchen-manner, all of the desserts will also be made in-house. There will also be plenty of gluten-free options.
“I want this to be a restaurant worth going to, a destination all by itself,” he added.
The Jac Island Grille and Rum Bar, located at 1223 Periwinkle Way, will be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 a.m., serving lunch and dinner. On Saturdays and Sundays, it will open at 9 a.m. to serve up brunch.