Native Coloradans and culinary arts school students with a penchant for seafood probably already know of Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar. Located on 17th Street in Denver, the popular restaurant has quickly become an esteemed favorite in the area, which is no small task in Denver’s burgeoning restaurant scene. What they may not yet know, however, is that the restaurant is expanding into a new location, with plans to open a franchise in Kansas City, Missouri by the first of October.
In preparation for the new location, the management at Jax had to make some tough decisions regarding personnel. The new venue intends to feature a similar, yet not identical menu to the original Denver restaurant, as well as a full oyster bar. Obviously, executive chef Sheila Lucero wouldn’t trust the responsibility to manage all of that to just anyone. That’s where Bobby Bowman comes in.
Recently hired as the executive chef for the Kansas City location, Bowman comes from an interesting and slightly unorthodox culinary background. According to The Pitch, he first came to Kansas City roughly a decade ago to pursue work in the restaurant industry. After several menial jobs, Bowman eventually landed a position at Webster House, an esteemed Kansas City restaurant. Nonetheless, he still wanted more control over the menu. In speaking to The Pitch, Lucero indicated that it was that eagerness that differentiated him.
“During our interview process, Bobby did something I had never experienced before. As we were wrapping up that first interview, he shyly handed me a menu he had typed up,” said Lucero. “It was his representation of what a Jax menu could be like. And it was awesome. That was a real determining factor for us.”
The restaurant, which will be located at 900 West 48th Place in Country Club Plaza, is expected to seat 180 people including the bar. Anticipate its opening on or before October 1, 2014.