Sunday, September 27, marked the last day for quaint coffee shop Saint Alban at the 710 King St. space. Restaurant group Neighbourhood decided to move the cafe to make way for a new concept — Little Jack's Tavern. Co-owners Tim Mink and Brooks Reitz plan to open the updated space by February. While you're waiting, here are the five things to know about the forthcoming bar/restaurant.
1. According to Reitz, Little Jack's "will be a classic tavern serving familiar but smart pub standards and a full bar with an emphasis on classic cocktails." Online publication Tasting Table followed Reitz and Mink on part of their journey to find the perfect burger for the restaurant. They "plowed" through twenty beef patties as research. The menu will also include "a house chopped salad, bar steaks with fries, pastrami on marbled rye ..."
2. Little Jack's origin follows a fictional backstory. The fabricated owner is "a scrawny boxer who left New York City in 1940 to open a bar on the beach." If you spy on Reitz's social media, you'll notice he's collecting '40s ephemera, including old boxing posters and sports pennants. The logo for Little Jack's is a typeface pulled from the vintage pugilist placards.
3. There will be a large bar. The drink menu will focus on classics, like Manhattans and martinis. Reitz says, "I’m very excited by the cocktails, which will be strictly old school, original drinks. No 'new creations' here."
4. The space will look nothing like the previous Saint Alban's interiors. They are installing upholstered banquette seating throughout. "The space has been redesigned, and will feel very different from it’s previous life," states Reitz.
5. When Little Jack's opens, it will serve lunch and dinner, seven days a week.