Parc Bistro-Brasserie will open in the heart of Banker’s Hill in the former Croce’s Park West space in mid May 2016.
Chef Donald Lockhart, most recently at Cusp Restaurant in La Jolla, will helm the kitchen and offer a classical French cuisine with coastal favorites, as well as Parc’s own private wine label.
Chef Lockhart has worked with Julia Child and Michel Richard as well as cooking at the James Beard House in New York. By using timeless techniques steeped in tradition, Lockhart’s simple cooking approach is to gather the best ingredients and allow the flavors to shine. He looks to cultivate a sense of community through his dishes and believes his French bistro fare will celebrate local bounty and pay homage to the community that contributes to its success. Guests can expect dishes that stay true to the basics, yet offer a contemporary elements. mdm
Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, San Diego restaurateur and Parc owner Garo Minassian has an international “soul” which has driven him to experience life in Paris, Italy, Boston and Los Angeles before marrying, having children and deciding that San Diego would be his family’s permanent home.
Already the master of several languages, Garo attended the Culinary Institute of Florence, Italy, graduating with honors. Traveling across Europe, then North America, he plied his trade as an apprentice and journeyman chef, gaining a wealth of experience in the hotel and restaurant industry before determining that his calling was not limited to the kitchen, but in managing the properties and people with whom he worked.
Minassian’s San Diego career began in a partnership that successfully launched Scalini’s in the Del Mar/Rancho Santa Fe are in 1987. Scalini’s quickly became the place to be and be seen, as it boasted a stellar reputation for quality, ambiance and service. The restaurant garnered numerous awards and accolades including “Best New Restaurant” San Diego Magazine. David Nelson, the Union Tribune’s culinary critic stated that “Scalini was 20 years ahead of its time,” ultimate awarding U.T.’s Gold Fork award to the restaurant multiple times over the next 20 years. Diverging paths ultimately led to the dissolution of the partnership in 2006, which brought an end to an illustrious and very profitable venture.
Riding on the success of Scalini, Garo created Bistro Bacco in the San Diego Gaslamp District in 1995. An instant hit, the restaurant was immediately nominated for the “Best Bistro” San Diego Magazine, “Best Décor, Best Food, Best Service” Union Tribune and received a “Best Restaurant” rating from Zagat. The demands of operating two very busy, 7 day a week, specialized restaurants, without the benefit of modern technology, made the decision to sell this endeavor at a significant profit easy.
In 2003, Grappa Restaurant in San Marcos opened its doors and it too received a “Best Restaurant” nomination, this one from the North County Times. This restaurant was well received by both the local residents and college community (Cal State San Marcos. Grappa was sold in 2010. In 2013 Garo partnered up with Dan Miller to own and operate the famed Harrys Bar and Grill in La Jolla.
Of the numerous accolades and distinctions, which Garo has received, he is most proud of two things; his mentoring of young culinarians (servers, sommeliers, chefs) and the many fundraising events he has hosted on behalf of very worthy charitable organizations (University of San Marcos, Boys and Girls Club, the Old Globe, Tony Gwynn Foundation, Children’s Hospital, Casa de Amparo, to name but a few). The restaurant will be a hub for the community to enjoy great food in a relaxed atmosphere. Minassian is excited share his passion for French food and French culture with the Banker’s Hill community. PR