Extreme Makeover: Jack London Square

Jack London Square is getting a face-lift of Joan Rivers proportions, and may soon present a challenge to San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building. Especially with today’s news that the Ferry Building may be raising the rents on its food-heavy tenants.

The new look includes everything from a six-story marketplace/food emporium expected to open next spring, to several new restaurants, one of which, Miss Pearl’s Jam House, has already celebrated its grand opening. We ate there last Thursday and enjoyed the Slow-Roasted Spare Ribs and the Tapioca Pudding Parfait, but we were more interested in the fact that the restaurant isn’t exactly new.

Chef Joey Altman originally operated the same restaurant in the Phoenix Hotel with some success until the doors closed New Year’s Eve, 1996. The Phoenix Hotel has since been sending hungry guests to the Asian fusion Bambuddha Lounge inside the hotel, but it’s probably worth noting that both the Phoenix Hotel and the Waterfront Hotel (which shares walls with the new Miss Pearl’s Jam House) are both from the ever-growing Joie de Vivre boutique hotel and restaurant empire.

In any case, Altman is giving Miss Pearl’s another go, which may be just the ticket for this Caribbean-themed restaurant, what with the waterfront dining and talk of a whole new scene about to find its groove in the otherwise defunct Oakland landmark that is Jack London Square.

Another bit of gossip for the new Jack London Square includes the anticipated move of the main Miette“>Miette kitchen (currently baking up a storm in the East Bay) to the new Jack London Square area, which would come complete with a customer-friendly storefront and a demonstration kitchen. Seriously, we love, love, love the gingerbread cupcakes that we get at Miette in the Ferry Building and we’re tickled pink at the prospect of Meg Ray and Caitlin Alissa Williams giving us a reason to venture out of San Francisco.

All of these changes can’t help but make a hopeful foodie envision the new Jack London Square as a bigger, better Ferry Building making its mark across the bay. The Marketplace alone promises to host an entire floor devoted to a permanent farmer’s market and then a second floor of restaurants and food-related retail. Sounds good to us. Now, if only our MUNI Fast Pass worked on the Oakland/Alameda ferry…

Ferry Building rental hike worries some [ABC 7 (via Eater SF]
Miss Pearl’s Jam House [Official Site]
Bambuddha Lounge [Official Site]
Joie de Vivre [Official Site]
Miette [Official Site]

[Photo of Slow-Roasted Spare Ribs via Miss Miss Pearl’s Jam House]

Extreme Makeover: Jack London Square