Just got word from Leigh Jones that Jonesy's EatBar, her "gastropub" at 400 East 20th Avenue, has lost chef Mike "Waldo" Walden due to undisclosed circumstances (meaning something unsavory, no doubt). But she didn't have to look far for a replacement: She's hired back one of her old sous chefs from Brasserie Rouge, Matt Brown.
Oddly enough, Brown also did time at the Painted Bench (in the space now occupied by Jonesy's, and before that Jones's Dish Bistro). So this is like a homecoming for him.
Jones also added Thomas Ayala to the galley. He's ex of the British Bulldog, which was bought out by the Little Pub Co. a few months ago and re-staffed. Ayala was the guy behind a lot of the Pakistani grub being done at the Bulldog. And while Jones told me that "we're kinda sticking with what we've been doing, that global comfort food thing," the new blood is already bringing some changes to the menu. There's a new curry plate on the menu, as well as rumaki (flash-fried bacon-wrapped water chestnuts) with Ayala's pineapple chutney.
Jonesy's has been having a surprisingly good season, considering the general beating the industry has been taking during this recession. Jones said she was coming off a record week when we talked, and odds are good that things are only going to go up come December 22, when she releases her own pin-up calendar featuring the girls who work at Jonesy's.
"I've got ten hot girls here," she said, explaining that she rounded out the last two months with a shot of her (male) bartenders in the basement wine cellar playing poker and a collage of everyone in the joint. The calendars are at the printer now and will be for sale shortly, with part of the proceeds going to the Denver Metro Partners mentoring program. -- Jason Sheehan
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