The year was 2009 — and oh what a good year it was — when a lapsed New Yorker cum native Californian sat down in a newly opened restaurant in Austin, Texas with his southeast Texan bride-to-be.
“What a great place you have here!” he said to the server as he approached their table.
“Thank you,” he replied. “Have you ever heard of a restaurant called ‘Jaynes Gastropub’ in San Diego? The owners modeled the restaurant after Jaynes.”
The Texan joint was a nearly cookie-cutter version of the San Diego original.
From the “custom millwork, zinc bar, mosaic tile floor all the way up to the 1920′s tin ceiling” to the large mirrors and Anglophilic paraphernalia adorning the walls, Jaynes made you feel like you had traveled to another time and place.
When it opened in 2007, the restaurant rode atop the new wave of gastropubs that opened across the U.S.
Guests would work their way through appetizers like Gambas al Ajillo, Chips and Gravy Poutine, Queso Fundido, Crispy Calamari, munching away and washing it down with groovy European wines and international craft beers.
You’d ask for a bottle of lithe Nebbiolo or a hearty Mourvèdre as you struggled deliciously to decide between mouth-watering mains like Lamb Shepherd’s Pie, Steak Frites, or the legendary Jayne Burger (above). Or sometimes, you’d just order nearly the whole damn menu and share with friends around the wonderful hand-crafted community table on the patio, the wine and music flowing all the while.
Jaynes was good eating at its best, in a time when Americans were still learning a thing or three from British gastropub culture — comfort food prepared masterfully with the highest quality ingredients.
Yes, I’m so sorry to say but you read that write: Jaynes was.
Yesterday, Jayne and her husband Jon announced in an Instagram post that the restaurant will not reopen.
The only thing that attenuates our sadness is the tide of warm memories that fills our hearts and minds.
Jaynes gave Tracie and me so much. It was one of the backdrops of our early courtship, the host of our wedding reception, and the place where everyone knew our names when we returned to my hometown. Our children played there together, we played countless concerts there.
Jayne and Jon, Tracie and I can’t thank you enough for the hospitality, the generosity, the friendship and solidarity that you’ve shared with us over the years. There will never be another Jaynes and the magic of those years will forever be inscribed in our hearts, in the name of joy and love.
We’re looking forward to the next chapter in your lives. Or should I say, all of our lives? For none of our lives will be the same without Jaynes Gastropub.
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
‘Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away
So will you please say hello
To the folks that I know
Tell them I won’t be long
They’ll be happy to know
That as you saw me go
I was singing this song
We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day