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A culinary evolution: restaurateur shares personal lifestyle, eating habits with patrons

Jack's Restaurant. Photo: Andrea Swayne
Jack’s Restaurant. Photo: Andrea Swayne

By the City of Dana Point, Special to the Dana Point Times

Seventeen years ago this week, Jack’s Restaurant opened its doors, fulfilling the longtime vision of its namesake, Jack Loconsolo.

That’s a near two-decades-long journey that has not only seen a transformation in the restaurant location’s identity from a ’50s-style diner to a casual, fine dining eatery, but also a revolutionary development within the food and restaurant cultures as consumers have emphasized their desire to learn more about their fare.

It’s a culinary self-discovery that Loconsolo himself has traveled, coming out healthier, refreshed and empowered. He’s now sharing his way of eating with Jack’s patrons by serving all-grass-fed New Zealand beef, wild-caught fish, sustainable seafood and seasonal, organic produce.

“We are an evolving restaurant,” Loconsolo said. “We started primarily serving thin crust pizza and traditional Italian … and we’ve evolved into serving healthy, clean foods.”

Loconsolo, a Brooklyn native, has long been involved in the food trade. From the family kitchen to their pizzerias in New York, Loconsolo soaked in the knowledge. At 20, he landed a job at John’s of Bleecker Street, a famous pizzeria known for its thin-crust pies, where he learned the tricks of the trade.

In 1990, he made his way west to work at DeMario’s Café & Pizzeria in Dana Point. On a run to Salt Creek Beach that summer, Loconsolo decided to stay. Seven years later, he acquired the site of Jack’s Restaurant—the former home of Daddy-O’s Bicycle Café. Jack’s opened on Dec. 17, 1997.

“I used to sit in here (Daddy-O’s) and daydream about what I would do to the restaurant,” he said.

By the time Loconsolo opened Jack’s, the food industry lifestyle was wearing on him. He needed a change. That modification came once he paid greater attention to what went into his body. Loconsolo now shares his healthy way of life with Jack’s customers. In collaboration with Chef Alex Arroyo, who opened Jack’s kitchen, Loconsolo sees his culinary visions become a reality.

Today, Jack’s New York-style, thin-crust pies are served nightly starting at 5 p.m. alongside Italian favorites like Loconsolo’s grandmother’s eggplant parmesan and the restaurant’s evolved offerings.

JACK’S RESTAURANT
34320 Del Prado
Dana Point
949.489.1903
www.jacksdp.com

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