Chef/Owner Laurent Poupart will open JoJo Eating House & Bar, an updated Euro eatery next Monday, November 19th. Located adjacent to The Quadrangle, at 2626 Howell Street, Poupart has created an approachable Mediterranean menu that represents Spain, Morocco, France and Italy, yet anchored in classic French techniques. “To open a restaurant in Dallas is a dream come true. I have traveled a lot in my life, but when I came to Dallas 3 ½ years ago for the first time, I knew it was the city for me.”
JoJo Eating House & Bar was designed by Dallas-based restaurant design firm, Plan B Group (Royce Ring/Alex Urrunaga), with the intent of building a space with a residential feel. Using simple, sophisticated and clean lines, the interior space includes a wrap-around chef bar experience facing the open kitchen, communal and regular seating tables in the dining room and comfortable circular booths. A 360-degree bar with hopper windows that open to the patio and street-side dining will create a bustling bar atmosphere. The patio is an extension of the dining room with interior light fixtures, area rugs and comfortable seating including a single continuous 70’ booth around the perimeter. Plan B Group owner, Royce Ring elaborates, “The use of wood was an important aspect of the design for JoJo. A rare restaurant design element found in the United States, shou sugi ban (black wood), was used for the façade and interior walls, cypress was used for the patio water fountain, hickory for the bar top and mahogany for the millwork and storefront.”
Poupart, who hails from Strasbourg, the capital city of the Alsace Region in Eastern France, began working at the age of 14, at Le Crocodile. Le Crocodile was a three star Michelin restaurant in his hometown. In 1988, after his four-year apprenticeship there, he graduated from The Culinary Institute of Strasbourg. After serving two years in the army as a private chef for the General of the French Force, Poupart began working as First Commis (“Young Chef”) in two star Michelin restaurant, La Palme D’or in Cannes, under Jean-Marie Gautier (MOF). The award of MOF (“Master Chef”) is chosen by a team of world-renowned chefs every four years, and is considered the most prestigious title for any chef in France.
In late 1992, Poupart took a position as Sous Chef at l’Auberge du Vieux Puits, currently a three star Michelin restaurant, where he worked under Gilles Goujon (MOF). Poupart was then called upon by New York City restaurant, Les Celebrites, where he worked as Executive Sous Chef under Christian Delouvrier. Les Celebrites was awarded the AAA Five Diamond award and “Best Restaurant Overall” in New York City by Zagat. The clientele included stars such as Pierce Brosnan, Jane Fonda and Tina Turner. After six years in New York City, Laurent moved to San Antonio, Texas to work as a consultant for acclaimed restaurant, L’Etoile. Two years later, Poupart became a partner in Albert’s Provence, a 120-seat, “5 Hats” rated restaurant in Tallahassee, Florida.
Since 2005 Laurent has been working as a private chef for clients such as Mike Moreno (his partner in Jojo), Gerald Ford, Kevin Costner, Cindy Crawford, Kenny G, and Hollywood Producer Joel Silver.
Jojo Eating House & Bar will open for dinner only, with lunch service beginning mid-December. Brunch service and pizza delivery will begin January 2013. JoJo Eating House & Bar is located at 2626 Howell Street, Dallas, Texas 75204. Website/Phone: www.jojodallas.com 214.754.4949. Hours of operation for dinner service only, to start: Monday – Wednesday 5pm – 10pm, Thursday – Saturday 5pm – 11pm, closed Sunday. Beginning mid-December hours of operation including lunch and dinner service: Monday – Wednesday 11am – 10pm, Thursday – Saturday 11am – 11pm, closed Sunday.