Craig Noone's ability to treat customers like family, foster downtown revitalization and inspire Jackson's palate will likely be a few of the qualities Jacksonians will remember about the 32-year-old restaurant owner who died early this morning in a car accident.
Noone, who opened Parlor Market on Capitol Street downtown a little over a year ago, was driving his Chevy Tahoe when he collided with a Ford Taurus at the intersection of West and Capitol streets at 1 a.m. Jackson Police Department spokeswoman Colendula Green today said that a witness said that Noone was driving at a high speed when he ran a red light and collided with the Taurus. The man and woman in the Taurus suffered minor injures. Noone did not have any passengers.
Green said that after hitting the Taurus, Noone's vehicle flipped, struck a light pole and knocked over three parking meters before he was ejected from the truck.
Noone, 32, was a Jackson native who trained at the Texas Culinary Academy in Austin and in Italy. In July, the Jackson Free Press live-auctioned Noone in the "Men of Character" auction during Chick Ball, a fundraiser to raise money for domestic-violence prevention. Noone drew the highest bid of more than $1,000. In summer 2010, months before he opened Parlor Market to huge public acclaim, BOOM Jackson magazine named Noone a Young Influential with a photo of him climbing the sign atop the King Edward Hotel.
After cooking in Biloxi, Austin and New Orleans, Noone returned to Jackson to open Parlor Market.
"We have lost one of the brightest stars in the culinary constellation," BRAVO! co-owner Jeff Good said today. "Craig was a extraordinary and different foodie for our market. He brought an entirely different level of food preparation to our market, and I think his mark will be significant and long lasting."
Lumpkin's BBQ restaurant co-owner Monique Davis helped smoke meat for Parlor Market's BBQ Birthday Bash on Oct. 1. The event included a special menu and live music for the upscale restaurant's first year of business. Davis said that Noone was always looking for ways to collaborate with other restaurants.
"We had been talking about doing a fundraiser for Peaches and getting other restaurants to participate about a week ago," Davis said. "... I think he was a very strong advocate of preserving what is unique about Jackson. We were both very committed to maintaining the quality and history of Farish Street. He really wanted to get people back and engaged in downtown."
Hal and Mal's will host a gathering tonight at 5 p.m. to commemorate Noone's life. Parlor Market is closed through the weekend.
Noone's friends sent the following statement today:
"Craig was, foremost, a very special person and friend, and an extremely talented chef. He had the courage to pursue his dream of opening a restaurant in the heart of Downtown Jackson. Even more, he was an incredibly giving person and touched countless lives with his generosity. He brought great happiness and joy to his family and friends and will be missed by many."
Arrangements for Craig Noone, Jackson Restaurateur
Visitation will be on Sunday, October 16, 2011, at Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home, 350 High Street, Jackson, MS 39202 (601) 352-3632. (www.wrightfergusondowntown.com)
Funeral will be Monday, October 17, 2011, at 10 a.m. at Lakeshore Church, 6880 South Siwell Road, Byram, MS 39272, (601) 373-0294 with the burial following in Clinton, MS. (www.lakeshorecmc.org)
Craig's dream was Parlor Market and bringing amazing food and beautiful service to Jackson. In wanting to give back to his home city and state, Craig had been recently working on bringing baseball to Mississippi's disabled youth through The Miracle League
(http://www.miracleleague.com/home.html). If you would like to help make Craig's baseball dream come true, please send a memorial to Parlor Market's Miracle League c/o Parlor Market, 115 W. Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39201.
He was so young.
And he will be missed. It was the best food I'd had in town since Bruno's.
How very sad. My most sincere wishes for his family.