The 600-square-foot storefront takes over a former check-cashing spot and will eventually become part of Alloy Development’s massive 80 Flatbush mixed-use development which will consist of two towers housing 900 residential units, two schools, and office, retail, and cultural space.
This is Jalapa Jar’s second brick-and-mortar location—their first 100-square-foot shop is located at the 2/3 Clark Street subway station in Brooklyn Heights. “This feels like we’ve upgraded to the penthouse,” Jalapa Jar Co-Founder Tommy Byrnes told BKLYNER Wednesday morning.
Regarding yesterday’s low-profile soft opening, Byrnes explained, “Practice makes perfect. We want to get up and running…You need that first week or so to get your feet under you.” They’ll throw up a Jalapa Jar banner and have their grand opening next week, he added.
Though yesterday’s opening was relatively low-key, neighbors who have been patiently awaiting Jalapa Jar’s arrival since the spring were happy to find it finally open for business. “It was exciting. People in the neighborhood had seen we’ve been trying to open for a while, so a lot of the neighbors came over and said ‘Alright, finally, let’s try it out.’ We had a really good day,” Byrnes said.
Along with the larger space at Schermerhorn Street, the new location’s menu has also expanded, with the addition of a few “pre-designed bowls” for diners to choose from along with the option of building their own bowl. The team has also added lunch and dinner tacos to the menu, to complement their selection of breakfast tacos, though Byrnes promised “you can get any taco all day long.” If you’re not in the mood for a breakfast taco or breakfast bowl in the morning, there is also a small selection of baked goods (Awkward Scone) and coffee (Summermoon beans) available.
After Tuesday’s opening, the new Short Rib taco “has proven to be the new hit,” Byrnes said, noting that the new menu option was a customer favorite yesterday.
The new Jalapa Jar location also features a Jalapa Mart, where customers can pick up jars of the brand’s popular salsa as well as items from other local makers, including Zesty Z Mediterranean za’atar sauce; BuckWHAT! buckwheat, gluten-free snacks; Eat Chic chocolates; Pilot Kombucha; MetaBrew nut-buttered coffee and tea; The Good Batch cookies; Gooey & Co butter cake; and more.
The space is bright and inviting with high stools surrounding a couple of wooden tables, a couple of comfy arm chairs, and fun neon signs. The team is friendly and efficient and the food is delicious and hearty. My veggie tacos (Greenpoint and Sweet Green) were packed with fresh ingredients topped with a “medium” sauce that gave them just the right amount of heat.
Open until 11pm seven days a week, Jalapa Jar hopes to attract crowds before and after events at the nearby Barclays Center and BAM, but even if you’re not heading to one of those venues, Jalapa Jar is worth a visit.
Jalapa Jar, 384 Schermerhorn Street, Downtown Brooklyn
Hours: weekdays 7:30am to 11pm | weekends 9am to 11pm