Shawn Cirkiel Talks About His New Opening

By Megan Giller  |  October 30, 2013

Earlier this week, the chef and owner of Parkside, the Backspace and Olive & June announced that he would be opening a new, currently unnamed restaurant in the Radisson's old TGI Fridays space, as well as taking over room service and banquets. Since that’s quite a step up in terms of production, we caught up with the chef to talk expansion. He says he’s been working on the menu for a year, testing dishes during family meals at his restaurants and honing it down. But what about all of those room service orders and huge banquets?

“What people don’t realize is that Parkside and Olive & June have their own banquet chef at each restaurant,” he said. “Parkside seats 100 people upstairs and so does Olive & June. We’re already doing tons of that at the restaurants. It’s already part of our DNA, but it’s just an extension of that.” Cirkiel said that last week Parkside hosted 12 events and Olive & June hosted five.

In the past the chef has been committed to keeping it local, and he plans to continue. “I don’t see why we wouldn’t use local,” he told us. “The challenge is that you have to have consistency from farmers. This is about doing one of our restaurants that happens to be in a hotel.” When we chatted with the W Hotel's beverage and food director, Nadine Thomas, she mentioned how hard it was to use local products when catering to an entire hotel, even though the restaurant takes local incredibly seriously. “When you’re in a hotel, it’s hard to [use all local] because people just demand strawberries and blueberries,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if they’re in season.” Can Cirkiel’s new restaurant prove differently?

The restaurant is slated to open in January 2014, with a name coming soon.