[image-1] After a six-week reno, beloved neighborhood breakfast/lunch spot Park Cafe is officially open with a brand spankin’ new interior as well as new plates and creative cocktails.

This is phase one of the renovation says co-owner Xan McLaughlin. Phase two will involve knocking out the back wall (formerly home to the plant wall) and adding about 30 seats to the dining room and expanding the kitchen space. Phase one involved a “complete overhaul” of the dining room, bar area, kitchen, front patio, and restrooms. When both phases are complete, there will be an additional 1,200 feet added to the restaurant. [image-5] We popped by this morning and took a seat at the new bar (twice the size of the old) made by local artisan Kirk Heidenreich. We ordered up new menu items including the parmesan egg with radicchio; roasted mushroom toast with goat cheese and fried oyster mushrooms — “we finally have a fryer!” says McLaughlin; and an Italian sandwich with spicy capocola, Genoa salami, provolone, tomato, onion, and pepper relish. McLaughlin says that since the closing of Artisan Meat Share and North Central Delicatessen he hasn’t been able to find a solid Italian nearby. “So this is really for me.”

[image-2] The restaurant, which opened in 2014, now has more of what the owners describe as a “grown up, sophisticated look.” With the larger kitchen space, McLaughlin says exec chef Pat Gottschall and team will be able to get creative, so expect more frequent menu changes and seasonal specials. Don’t worry, the “untouchables” like the avocado toast, fried egg sandwich, and burger will remain. But expect new, fresh pasta dishes, inventive toasts, and Gottschall’s take on a Scotch egg.

[image-4] On the drink side of things, new cocktails include an Earl Grey margarita and a peach kombucha bourbon easy sipper, adorned with mint.

Phase two of the reno should be finished mid-fall, with the restaurant only having to close for two days for that portion. The final touches will involve an homage to the plant wall, so stay tuned.