Readers might remember that in 2013 the restaurant the critics loved to break up with was Parka. After a highly promising beginning, the neighborhood cafe faltered, the company experienced a break with its executive chef and Parka was left to languish, never to recover the opening day glory. Now, Rick Nelson at the Star Tribune writes that Parka will no longer be a restaurant.
When Parka first opened in January of 2013, reviewers were ecstatic with Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl placing it alongside Tilia. James Norton of Heavy Table exclaimed that the team were "killing it right out of the gate. Stephanie March, Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine's food editor loved the "cool space" and executive chef Erick Harcey's menu. The unique neighborhood cafe was a collaboration of Rustica Bakery, Dogwood Coffee and Victory 44's chef and owner under the company name Stock & Badge. The eatery shares an address with Modern Forage Workshop, with a partial wall separating the two spaces.
Unfortunately, the kitchen faltered several months in. Opening chef de cuisine Chris Olson was released and went down in a blaze of blogging glory by writing about what isn't taught in culinary school on his blog Chris Eats (the post was later taken down.)
In January of this year, it was announced that Harcey would leave the Stock & Badge company to focus on Victory 44 and other projects.
In June, Stock & Badge's culinary director Sam Kanson-Benanav talked about Parka's menu switch from the opening menu to more conventional fare. At the time Kanson-Benanav discussed the difficulty to rebuilding Parka's good standing in diner's minds and stomachs.
Parka will transition to a full-time coffee shop serving Rustica pastries and Dogwood Coffee after September 21, when it will serve its final meal. After that it will close for a week for renovations. A wall will be built around what is now the open kitchen.
·Parka closing, becoming a Dogwood Coffee Bar [STRIB]
·All Parka Coverage [-EMPLS-]
[Photo: Joy Summers/EMPLS]