MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - While driving in downtown Meridian some of you might’ve noticed the Jean’s food truck on Front Street. The truck is operated by the owner of the property that previously housed the Jean’s Restaurant, along with his son.
“We have been established since last Tuesday and this is kind of a temporary location,” owner David Purvis says.
Over the summer, the original Jean’s Restaurant across the street from The MAX was shut down by Purvis, citing deplorable conditions in the kitchen. Our cameras captured some of the health concerns.
That same kitchen is now gutted along with the rest of the Front Street building. Purvis says the inside will soon be a new restaurant but will simply be 'Jean’s', not 'Jean's Restaurant'.
“When we first started improving and doing some remodeling, we got in the attic and saw there was some structure issues that had to be tended to,” Purvis says.
When it comes to using the same name, Purvis says it’s all about preserving a Meridian staple.
“We grew up together. Mrs. Jean owned it a long, long time. It’s such an icon. I have really thought and prayed real hard on it and decided that Mrs. Jean needed to be pressed forward and continued in downtown Meridian,” Purvis explains.
Purvis has hired the same employees that worked at the other location.
“We brought a lot of the cooks and tried to work with them. It’s why we opened the food truck, to help them make it through Christmas and to do some turkey and dressing for everybody,” Purvis says.
In January, the new Jean’s will open at the Venue on 9th Street and 22nd Avenue, but only temporarily. The permanent location will eventually be on Front Street.
Newscenter 11 reached out to the former Jean’s Restaurant owner and manager Monday. He says he does not want to comment on the issue at this time.