BUSINESS

University of Mississippi student co-owns Bacchus on the Square, now featuring an Emeril Lagasse-trained chef

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Alicia Hydeman
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
ahydeman@go.olemiss.edu

Bacchus on the Square, a small chain restaurant that originated in Gulfport, opened on Oxford’s Square last September and has drawn a large crowd almost every game weekend and most weeknights.

Many may not realize that the restaurant at 1107 Jackson Ave. E. is co-owned and operated by a University of Mississippi college student, and one of its latest additions is an Emeril Lagasse-trained chef.

Famous for Pork Chop Mondays, and being the only Square restaurant that serves oysters, the restaurant offers a unique vibe with a variety of food options.

Jourdan and Field Nicaud opened their first Bacchus restaurant when Field was only 14 and Jourdan was 21. Field, 20, is now a hospitality management major at Ole Miss and an active member of Kappa Alpha fraternity. Jourdan is 26 and continues to work in property development throughout Mississippi.

Originally a pre-med student at Tulane, Jourdan Nicaud dropped out of school to open his first restaurant on the coast. The young entrepreneur said his parents “were really pissed at me. They didn’t want me to do it at all.”

Now, the Nicauds’ parents are proud of their sons’ growing success, and they are involved in helping at the restaurant whenever they’re in town.

The inspiration for the restaurant’s theme, which boasts a New Orleans feel, came from the brothers’ New Orleans childhood. The restaurant’s whimsy décor is thrift store-inspired, and includes Ole Miss décor as well.

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The Nicauds’ grandmother owned four restaurants of her own, “so we grew up doing it as a kid,” Field Nicaud said. The majority of the recipes on the Bacchus menu are family recipes from Nicauds’ grandmother and father.

The newest addition to Bacchus on the Square is head chef, Cody Bolotte, from New Orleans. Bolotte worked under Emeril Lagasse seven years before moving to Oxford to work at Bacchus on the Square.

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Jourdan Nicaud said Cody has played a key role in “uplifting the whole Bacchus restaurant… and taking some of our food to another level.” Chef specials and traditional menu items are offered daily.

The Nicaud brothers have a genuine love for cooking. “I love working in the kitchen,” Field Nicaud said. “I love cooking… I like being there, helping out.”

As an owner, Nicaud is as hands-on as possible. “I’ve done every job in the restaurant,” he said. “I’ve dish-washed, sautéed, been a prep chef, waiter.”

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The brothers are passionate about spreading their love of cooking to others and view the restaurant as a way to give back to the community. When Bacchus in Gulfport opened, the coast was recovering and rebuilding from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. “We wanted to be a part of that resurgence,” Jourdan Nicaud said.

Since opening his first restaurant, Jourdan Nicaud said he has been part of many “really cool events I would have never been able to go to or be a part of without cooking.” One was cooking for the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C.

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In addition to Bacchus, the brothers also co-own Rowdy Rebs, one of the newest bars on the Square, which opened in April. The club-style bar is also inspired by New Orleans and features shot girls who serve the bar’s signature Rowdy Rebs shot.

Although the Bacchus Gulfport location is one of a select few stores that closed, there are three other Bacchus locations, including Bacchus on the Square, Bacchus in Biloxi, and Bacchus on the Beach in Pass Christian.

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Many new and exciting additions are upcoming, including two new restaurant openings scheduled for next summer in Starkville and Madison.

In addition, Bacchus on the Square plans to ask Bolotte to have entrée and wine pairings for dinners next spring. Charity benefits and cooking classes are also on the agenda for spring of 2017.

Although there are no plans for restaurant openings outside of Mississippi at the time, the Nicaud brothers say they hope to expand Bacchus outside of Mississippi eventually.

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