In less than an hour, Jean-Philippe Failyau, who owns Park Burger in Platt Park and a small interest in Osteria Marco, will lift the garage doors and fling open the front door of Park and Co, his new burger joint that took over the Bump and Grind plot at 439 East 17th Avenue.
The beautifully rehabbed space bedecked with unmasked red brick mounted with long mirrors, ebony banquettes, an L-shaped bar with a community high top table, exposed beams, Foosball and Shuffleboard games and a small lounge area with a drink rail, opens for happy hour today at 4 p.m. "It took us a little longer than what we had originally planned on, but we're finally ready to get this place open," says Failyau, who tapped AJ Lafond, the former chef of North, and briefly the Cherry Cricket, to command the kitchen.
But while the menu includes several of the same dishes that you'll find at Park Burger, including, of course, the burgers and fries, in addition to a few salads, Failyau and Lafond expanded the board by adding a number of new starters, including deviled eggs, soft pretzels with cheddar fondue, bacon-wrapped Gorgonzola dates, housemade potato chips with blue cheese fondue, Thai-spiced peanuts and baked Brie with a fruit chutney. "The baked Brie is awesome -- sweet, savory and even crispy -- and I think the burgers will do phenomenally well in this neighborhood, which is just a great neighborhood for eating, drinking and hanging out with friends," says Lafond.
"This is the big brother to Park Burger," adds Failyau. "Park Burger caters to a lot of younger families, whereas this is a more grown-up version that we still hope will get a lot of younger people through the door." Considering the number of beers -- ten on tap and 15 bottled -- and the clever cocktail menu created by Osteria Marco mixologist Adam Hodak and games, that's a given.
For the time being, Failyau is doing happy hour and dinner seven nights a week, but in mid-August, he'll open for lunch with an expanded menu.
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