The owner of the Corner and Parada 22 describes ex-employee Alex Jackson as a guy with a lot of charisma, serious cooking chops, and a sort of compulsion to exaggerate his own background and accomplishments. Philip Bellber (owner also of Cha Cha Cha and Boogaloos) tells SFoodie he was aware that Jackson had told local media ― including our own Jonathan Kauffman ― that he was a partner in the Corner and Parada, but Bellber shrugged it off. He says he thought, Well, the guy can cook, he seemed to be making positive changes at the Corner, so what the hell. It was only later, after Jackson was asked to leave The Corner in August or September, that Bellber says he became aware of all the claims Jackson had made about himself. And though Bellber had a private investigator look into Jackson's past ― and got a taped confession about Jackson's true past (no, he never staged at Gramercy Tavern in New York or St. John in London) ― the private eye did so as a friend. Bellber says he now just wants to put the whole situation to rest. "I don't wish the guy any ill will," he says, "but I'd hate for him to fuck anyone else up." For the record, SFoodie still hasn't been able to get comment from Jackson himself.
Meanwhile, Bellber says, the Corner ― whose struggle to find its identity caused Bellber's partners to bring in Jackson in the first place ― is now a venue for nightly pop-ups. "We saw that place across the street, Mission Street Food, and thought maybe we could do something like that," Bellber says. We've written about Ken Ken Ramen's Thursday pop-up. Eater SF has the scoop on the other places (including Parada 22) who have either already started or will soon begin making regularly weekly appearances there.