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Noone’s loss is a big one

Jackson’s business community woke up to jarring news Friday morning.

Craig Noone, the chef and owner of Parlor Market on Capitol Street, was killed in a car accident around 1 a.m. Friday at the intersection of Capitol and West streets.

Although I never spoke to Noone for any type of story, I had been in his restaurant plenty of times, and had enjoyed all of them. You could tell he took a lot of pride in his place. He’s my favorite kind of person to write about — a small business owner who assumes all of the risk to build something he believes in. Starting up Parlor Market required no special legislative session, no government handout, and it didn’t touch off a round of press releases from politicians literally racing each other to take credit for having made it happen.

The only thing Noone asked of taxpayers was for them to eat at his restaurant. Plenty of folks took him up on it. That should continue.

Jackson’s WAPT has the details here.

And here is a story the MBJ‘s Laura Smith did shortly after Parlor Market opened a littler over a year ago:

From the owner to the hostess stand and from the floors to the bar, nearly everything in Parlor Market tells a story.

Owner Craig Noone got his start at the Palace Casino Resort on the coast after graduating from the Texas Culinary Academy. He then moved to Italy where he obtained his master’s from the Italian Culinary Institute.

Before opening Parlor Market, Noone worked with renowned chefs John Besh of Restaurant August in New Orleans and Stephan Pyles and his eponymous restaurant in Dallas.

Noone had wanted to open a restaurant since he was a child because his parents didn’t cook all that much.

“All I ever wanted to do was open a restaurant,” he said. “I just thought I’d be a restaurateur and go to culinary school to learn more about food. While I was there I decided I would be a chef.”

After a decade working in restaurants, Noone heard about the redevelopment of downtown Jackson with the reopening of the King Edward Hotel.

“I didn’t know if I was ready, but I knew it was the right time,” he said. “I knew if downtown did come back, and I didn’t come immediately, I might not be able to get a place, and I wanted to help out with the renaissance downtown.”

And he has.

Parlor Market opened in September 2010 drawing on the building’s former life as inspiration for nearly everything inside.  It’s named Parlor Market because that was the name of a grocery store in the building during the 1920s that sold local produce and smoked meats. Today, the restaurant smokes some of its own meats. The banquettes are leather to pay homage to the days when the building housed Continental Leather. Cypress beams in the ceiling are a tribute to the lumber company housed there, and the raw oyster bar pays its respects to Al’s Half Shell, also once housed there. The hostess stand, bar and tables are made from wood taken from an 1858 plantation home in south Louisiana, and the floors are from a 1910 Louisiana home.

The menu centers on seasonal Southern cuisine with favorites being pork belly and wild game like antelope, elk, wild boar and duck. Restaurant employees from Texas, Georgia and Florida bring their heritage to each dish.

“I like to saw we have the oldest and newest tables in Jackson,” Noone said. “We worked really hard – not only on the food, but on the restaurant itself. We wanted the restaurant to tell a story because everybody in the south is definitely a storyteller.”

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