Greater City Providence

Capital Center area dining

Panera at Providence Place looks ready to open any minute now. All the furniture is in, all the signs are up. I know I said that I don’t really care for Panera, but I actually wished it was open when I was there yesterday. I was feeling a little peckish.

Rumors have been swirling about the prime restaurant spot at the Waterplace towers and there is now a sign up revealing that “Jacky’s Restaurant” is coming soon. Apparently there is a local chain called Jacky’s Galaxie, all I know is there is a rendering in the window that simply says Jacky’s Restaurant, but I can’t imagine that someone would open a pan asian restaurant by the same name (that would be just asking for a lawsuit), so it is probably safe to assume that it is the same. ETA: Actually, I think that might be the Jacky’s Galaxie logo in the lower right corner of that rendering.

Like I said, I am not familiar with Jacky’s Galaxie, so those who are, what to we think? Is this a good fit for this prime location?

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • I have been to the Jacky’s Galaxie up on Mineral Spring in N. Providence. I haven’t gone to the one down in Bristol. Its surprisingly good. I just get there Chinese food so I can’t speak to the rest of the pan-asian cuisine but I enjoyed what I had. Though, I am a sucker for Chinese food and big scorpion bowls of fruit-booze concoction so I may be biased.

  • I have never been to Jackie’s Galaxy, but have heard nothing but praise for it. It’s definitely not your run of the mill crappy cheap Chinese food.

  • WHOA! That went up super fast! I was there the other day and no sign (or signs) of anything.

    Also, has the rumor been cleared regarding whether P.F. Changs will come to the vacant Napa Valley Grill location? I feel the remaining empty lower level in the G-Tech would be ideal– name recognition would best suit that suite– then again, TWO large Pan Asian restaurants in the same stretch? Though I welcome more Asian cuisine in the city– Wish I were around to have experience the Old Providence Chinatown. This should do for now.

  • Side Note:

    I recall meeting a Panera rep in ’08 who lectured a business course I was taking at URI. I asked if the company would ever consider opening a location in Providence, specifically Downtown/Capital Center. Her response was: “We’ve looked and there isn’t enough foot-traffic.”

    I’ve heard this excuse multiple times by multiple retailers, large and small. The city needs to do more at convincing brand name businesses that Providence is a CITY and one that beckons an “if you build it they will come” mentality. Providence Place is a prime example. However, it can not be the only anchor to our retail core and the city will not survive on small businesses alone (and neither will the small business survive).

    I’m encouraged, however, of our new mayors inaugural pledge to launch a nationwide search for an Economic Director for the City of Providence.

  • I think there was talk of Panera going into 111 Fountain Street (the Fogarty Building) when the new one was built, but it never was. I think The Procaccianti Group was doing a good job of selling the fact that there were two hotels, the convention center, the Dunk, and workers from the Journal and elsewhere right there.

  • Ted Nesi actually bothered to send an email to Jacky’s Galaxie and they confirmed that it is indeed them moving in.

    I hope they have a sweet bar because I really want to sit in that window and have some drinks.

  • I’m looking forward to some happy post-Scorpion Bowl pics on facebook then.

    As for the place itself, are they going more upscale with that name? I have been to the one in NoPro as well and it was good but not remarkable compared to the other pan-asian we have around. I guess what I mean to say is that it is not a destination type restaurant by itself. But, a mid-price range place to start bringing some life to that part of the area will be welcome.

  • I can recommend their Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Shrimp Soup for two if you have a cold/sinus issues. Right after we go to the drug store for meds, cough drops and tissues, the next stop is Galaxie for the soup. Don’t know which of the many ingredients – the lime juice, the ginger, the garlic, the lemon grass, the hot peppers, the pineapple, the fresh tomatoes, the cilantro – does the trick (all of them?), but it works every time, making us feel at least a little better for several hours.

  • There is one on Cowesett Ave. in West Warwick too. Very good. I’ve never had a bad meal nor heard of anyone not liking it. I agree that it doesn’t inspire a special trip for someone like me who lives outside the city, 🙁 but this should be one of those reliable, reasonable, always there when you need it type of place for city residents.

  • I’m surprised no one has mentioned this yet: Jacky’s Galaxie in North Providence was the restaurant which more or less catalyzed North Providence’s very own police brutality incident (Projo article) in 2007.

    In brief: as of summer 2007, Jacky’s Galaxie was buying from a company called Dragon Land Trading, which was alleged to be paying subminimum wages, forcing overtime, and firing workers who joined a union. The dependable rabble-rousers of the Providence IWW marched down Mineral Spring Avenue to confront the owner (Jackie?), but got beat up by the N. Prov. cops for not getting out of the street fast enough. There were some particularly unpleasant photos of one woman whose knee got broken (bent the wrong way! eeep!) when police tackled her — which were soon printed out and pasted all over certain parts of town to organize a counterprotest. I remember seeing one inside the dumpling place on Thayer St (this photo, I think|discretion advised!).

    Let’s hope Jacky has heightened his (/her?) awareness of labor issues since then …

  • Oh, I’ve seen that photo and cannot look again. So this may not be the hang out for the Smith Hill types who are hoping to stay on the good side of the Unions then?

  • Panera is not going where Napa Valley was…Napa Valley was next to Old Navy but looking at the picture the panera is located next to the Borders/Mall entrance…There was a store in the corridor with an outside entrance as well,most recently aria bridal(prior to moving into the mall)…Looking at google map street view to confirm this thinking..Napa Valley is on other side of the mall entrance…So perhaps PF is still looking at the napa valley space…

  • People who want to stay on the good side of Unions, or people who won’t rush to support businesses that encourage the cops to beat up on people who protest outside their restaurant.

    There are a bunch of great restaurants at all a wide range of price points right near there — from New Rivers to AS220 — where I can get better food without that hassle. Jacky’s is notch above chain food Panera but barely that.

  • The Panera at the mall is having a Grand Opening Ceremony on January 14th.

  • I was about to post that regarding the incident in North Providence. Did the woman eventually get her leg amputated? I know it was mentioned as a possibility.

    Is this chain related to Galaxie Restaurant on Reservoir Ave in Cranston? I have been to that one and it was pretty good. I assume that space comes at a very hefty premium, so my guess is that it’s going to be quite a bit more expensive menu than the other Jackie’s Galaxie locations.

    And Panera is moving into what used to be, at some point, a Fidelity Investments storefront location.

  • Jacky’s, in my humble opinion, is painfully average Asian food. Maybe the barely better than, but not clearly superior to, the also very average Asian Palace on North Main or Apsara on Hope. I’m very disappointed to see cut a forgettable local chain moving into what is one of the higher profile new spots in the city :(. To think it coulda’ been a “Finale” at one time…

    Also, lots of national stories today about how the entire Borders Books chain may be in danger of bankruptcy right now. They’ve long been teetering and the Kindle/Nook e-book phenomenon is tightening the screws. That would be quite sad to see for the mall…

  • The lower right hand logo is from Judd Brown Designs. A top interior designer on the east coast who is here in RI.

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