Bartender Steve Da Cruz, chef Jason Leizert, and designer Martin Warren are opening up a new 20 seat restaurant at 237 Union St. in Strathcona this week (that’s between Harvest – which started serving ramen today – and The Union Bar). The tiny, 500 sqft place is called The Parker. The address was part of the same Onni V6A redux of a third of the block that went down a couple years ago. To my knowledge it’s a virgin space – never been used.
You might remember that Da Cruz and Leizert worked together previously at the ill-fated Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe, which closed in January 2011. They went their separate ways after that, with Da Cruz working at The Waldorf (and briefly Tacofino) and Leizert running the kitchen at Boneta. Warren helped to build to original Boneta and Corner Suite, so he’s no stranger to either Da Cruz or Leizert. The Parker, then, is a reunion of sorts.
The concept is boutique vegetarian, and they’re aiming to produce nearly zero waste. The design is simple: just mirrors, concrete, recycled chairs, plywood tables. Leizert’s menu will be constantly changing to stay in lockstep with the seasons, with the prep, cooking, and plating being done at the end of the six stool bar (where I saw a thermal immersion circulator). I won’t detail the menu, except to say that it is inventive, reminiscent of The Acorn. Da Cruz, of course, has put together a tidy little cocktail list and a wine card with selections from BC, Washington and Oregon.
The Parker will be dinner only at the outset with brunches on Saturday and Sunday. They hope to be open for lunch soon. The soft opening is imminent (this week), so it’s worth pencilling it in for the weekend. Take a look at some shots…