Durbach & Stewart Sell L’Altro Buca & Buy Ping’s Cafe On Main

April 22, 2010.

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Chris Stewart and Andrey Durbach (interview) have sold their L’Altro Buca restaurant (formerly Parkside) on Haro St. in the West End to Luciano Loi, who once upon a time owned a Ligurian trat in Kits called Adesso Bistro (now a fratty surf joint called KarV). The ink on the sale has only been dry for a few days, but it’s been long enough for Stewart and Durbach to pounce on a new space – Ping’s Cafe at 2702 Main Street.

We’re working under the assumption that Luciano will likely reprise his regional Italian theme in the L’Altro Buca location (another Adesso Bistro perhaps) but what Stewart and Durbach are going to do on Main is not a total lock. Though this only just happened this morning and they don’t take possession until May 18th, we can tell you that they’re looking to execute a quick turnaround with an opening date set for mid-June.

There is no official name for it yet, but they’re toying with the idea of calling the 30 seater Parkside, which is genius in my books (there’s plenty of brand recognition there promising quality and value). UPDATE: They’re calling it “Cafeteria”. The focus won’t be cuisine-specific like their two other restaurants, La Buca (Italian) and Pied-a-Terre (French), and much like the original Parkside, the menu will travel quite a bit. They’re aiming for “super casual”, with no dish large or small trespassing beyond the $20 mark. In the end, what I imagine we’ll end up seeing is a playground for chef Durbach’s creativity, which is never a bad thing. All told, I’d count this as a huge win for Main.

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