50 Seater “The Mackenzie Room” To Open Facing Oppenheimer Park This Summer

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A new 50 seat restaurant called The Mackenzie Room is coming soon to the ancient Parke Place Coffee Bar location at 415 Powell Street.

Parke Place was the awesome old school diner that faced onto Oppenheimer Park on the Downtown Eastside. It was home to grilled cheese sandwiches, road breakfasts and hot coffee for as long as I can remember. Meals were in the $5 range, and not at all bad (excellent hash browns). The long lunch counter had the coolest swivel stools in the city (pictured below), though they were more often than not vacant…

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I was sad to see it go. From what I understand, the owners retired early last year, and the landlord knocked down the wall between it and the space next door, making more than enough room for a new restaurant tenant.

The Mackenzie Room (a family name) is the passion project of first-time owners Andrew & Katie Jameson and chef Sean Reeve — all Toronto imports.

Industry veterans Andrew and Katie met while working the front of house in the heart of downtown at Richmond Station, the restaurant belonging to Chef Carl Heinrich (winner, Top Chef Canada, Season 2).

As if opening a new restaurant wasn’t difficult enough, they’re expecting twins in September.

Sean was the chef at both the Toronto and Montreal locations of Bistro La Société. He was once upon a time a chef de partie at Cioppino’s, and did some training at Parma’s La Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana. I’m looking forward to trying his cooking for the first time.

The concept for The Mackenzie Room sees a locally and seasonally-minded, technique-driven, dinner-only eatery serving up honest and simple West Coast food from a chalkboard menu listing 12-16 dishes a night. The bar program will be similarly inspired, with three cocktails and two punch bowls (plus many classic) offered per service.

Opening day is slated for some point this summer. Take a look at the construction shots below…

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