Chef Duy Pham, whose impressive cooking career in Colorado started at the long-gone Le Petit Gourmet Catering and journeyed through the kitchens of Tante Louise, Opal, the Luna Hotel, Sushi Den, Fifteen Twentyone in Pueblo and, most recently, Epernay and Restaurant Kevin Taylor, is looking forward to the month of May, when he and Brent Walker, the regional manager of all the Earl's restaurants in Denver, will open Parker Garage -- fittingly, on Main Street in the city of Parker.
The fading space, which Walker snapped up in January following the closure of the Warhorse Inn, a bar that occupied the coveted Main Street address for thirty years, was built in 1915 as an auto-body garage and gas station, and while the building suffered numerous fires during its early years, Walker is restoring the exterior to mimic the original facade. "We're taking the outside back to what it looked like in the beginning, exposing the brick and returning it to the classic exterior; we're re-crafting a legacy," says Pham, who will be the executive chef.
And Pham, whose culinary prowess is steeped in French technique, is doing very different food from his days at Epernay, where he was rolling sushi rolls a lot more often than he would have liked. There won't be any sushi at Parker Garage. Instead, Pham is doing "farm-to-table" cuisine that focuses, he says, on "heavy small plates, seven entrees and four family-style dishes, including a tomahawk ribeye, whole fish and whole duck." Pham reveals, too, that he'll have a separate "farm" menu dedicated solely to what he can source from local farmers and ranchers. And Parker Garage will also have its own on-site greenhouse, "where we'll grow our own vegetables, herbs and micro-greens," adds Pham.
The rusticated space, which will seat 150 inside and another forty outside, will have an open kitchen and an exposed prep area, making essentially everything that Pham and his kitchen crew do completely transparent.
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"I'm so excited about this project," says Pham. "There's been a lot of growth in Parker, and it's booming, plus there's a lot of traffic on Main Street, the building is right, I'm doing food that I want to do, and everyone has been so supportive. I think this is really going to work for us," he adds.
Pham estimates that Parker Garage will open in late spring/early summer, and when it does, it will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week.Follow @CafeWestword