Parker’s Downtown restaurant at the Kimpton Schofield Hotel: 7 things to know
This article was originally written by Marc Bona and published on Cleveland.com on August 8, 2016.
After 19 months in the planning stages, Parker’s Downtown opened officially for the Republican National Convention several weeks ago. Sunday night, the owners held a friends-and-family event to launch the restaurant in the Kimpton Schofield Hotel.
With many openings, there’s always a little drama. In the case of Parker’s, the health permit came in at 2 p.m. Friday, July 15, and a fire-prevention system became overwhelmed at 4:30 p.m. No worries, owners Victoria and James Mowbray and chef Andrew Gorski kept their heads, and the restaurant opened.
The restaurant – designed by Studio CRM – covers 4,700 square feet in the Schofield Building. David Liam Kyle’s photographs of various Cleveland cityscapes are hung throughout the space, with more coming for both display and for sale. “It fits our concept,” Victoria Mowbray said. “It’s urban, it’s Cleveland.” The concept also fits with the “live-like-a-local” motto of Kimpton, the San Francisco-based hotel chain. To that end, Mowbray said, “we want people to feel like a local.” Traditional cocktails are served, and pierogis are on the menu, albeit with a twist – a secret sauce from Gorski. Rivets along the bar give an industrial feel, and some of the chairs come from the historic Oakwood Country Club in Cleveland Heights. “We’re an homage to Cleveland,” Mowbray said. A private dining room lined with caged wine bottles can hold four tables of six and is smartly cordoned off from ambient noise.
The Schofield name in the hotel comes from Levi Scofield, who designed and supervised the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in the latter part of the 19th century. In 1901, he designed the hotel at East Ninth Street and Euclid Avenue.
The couple, who own Parker’s Grille & Tavern in Avon Lake, named their restaurant after their young son.
Being a hotel restaurant means having to maintain a fairly wide-reaching menu. So in addition to the standard cheese plate and shrimp cocktail, expect oysters, mussels, tuna stack to lamb meatballs and smoked white fish spread among a dozen appetizer offerings. Fifteen entrees cover the culinary gamut: Beef, seafood and pasta to comfort staples mac and cheese and chicken pot pie. And then there’s this: “We have caviar on the menu,” Mowbray said. “I can’t remember when I last saw caviar on a menu.” The menu itself will be demanding for the staff; breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served with a limited overnight menu for hotel guests.
In addition to signature and traditional cocktails, the beer has a local focus and the wine list is extensive. Northeast Ohio breweries Great Lakes, Brew Kettle, Platform, Thirsty Dog and Fat Head’s are on the eight-tap draft list. Two dozen bottles and cans – also mostly craft – also are available. The by-the-glass list includes three sparklers, 11 whites and 13 reds with an extensive price range. About 120 bottle-only offerings also will tempt diners.
The downtown Heinen’s, at 900 Euclid Ave., is across the street, and caddy-corner is The Metropolitan at the 9. Convenient: The Metropolitan and Parker’s share a valet service, so you can drop off your car at either side of the busy East 9th thoroughfare, not worrying about having to loop around to head south for valet.
A patio is coming, hopefully by fall, said Terry Uhl of Uhl Group Communications, which is representing the restaurant. Extra bricks from the building might be used as posts for the patio’s boundary enclosure to reflect the look of the space.