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Parkside Projects: An Austin Local We Love

Chef Shawn Cirkiel stands in his Austin restaurant, Parkside

New to town? Naturally, you need to find a great place for food. Austinites love to eat out, and the city is chock full of possibilities.

One of our pleasures at Top Tip Rentals is cutting through the noise to recommend uniquely Austin places. Destinations that go above and beyond in providing that special taste of the town that keeps people coming back. That’s why it’s always a pleasure to direct Top Trip Rentals visitors to Parkside and the various Parkside Projects family of restaurants.

Plate of food with wine glasses on table at Austin's Parkside restaurant
Photo Credit: Parkside Projects

Introducing Chef Cirkiel’s Parkside Vision

Chef Shawn Cirkiel is a nationally known and celebrated chef who brings simple yet artful, good, fresh food to the table. In Austin, he’s also known as an innovative restauranteur with an impressive array of businesses.

Chef Shawn Cirkiel stands in his Austin restaurant, Parkside
Chef Shawn Cirkiel’s guilty food pleasure? Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs, a seasonal Austin family business around the corner from Bullfight. Photo Credit: Parkside Projects

 

After years of honing his craft in famed restaurants on the East and West Coasts, Cirkiel returned to his native Austin to run (and eventually own) the popular Jean Luc’s French Bistro. That experience led him to envision Parkside Projects, an investment properties concept based on bringing people together through great food and authentic atmospheres.

“We cook what we like to eat,” explained Cirkiel, “and provide a space for people to celebrate and enjoy life.”

Meet Parkside Projects

Parkside restaurant cards
Parkside Project attention to detail extends from food to decor. Photo Credit: Swng Productions

 

At a time when others were masking downtown’s noise, Cirkiel created a space to embrace and enhance that hustle and bustle. His first project, Parkside (301 E. 6th St., just two blocks from Top Trip Rentals’ Littlefield Lofts), broke new ground with its vibrant city scene embrace.

“Downtown is loud, energetic, and exciting, “said Cirkiel. “We are that beacon on the corner that celebrates it.”

Martini at Austin's Parkside bar.
Carefully crafted cocktails make a happy hour. Photo Credit: Leah Nyfeler

And celebrate Parkside does—with really good food: “You feel like you are a part of the action, so it’s the perfect spot to soak in the atmosphere, grab a great martini and oysters before a show, or stay longer for dinner.”

Several other properties comprise Cirkiel’s project, each in a unique location.

Inspired by his childhood love of matadors, Cirkiel transformed his grandfather’s former gas station and body shop on Airport Blvd. into Bullfight (4807 Airport Blvd.), a Spanish tapas bar. Go for paella; enjoy the daily happy hour; have wine and cheese on the patio.

Other Parkside Project businesses include The Backspace, an intimate pizzeria in downtown, near 5th and San Jacinto. A short drive from downtown Austin, upscale Italian restaurant Olive & June features more refined dining (think pasta, pork meatballs, and hamachi crudo) on a large terrace under one of Austin’s signature oak trees. In addition to the restaurants, you may encounter Parkside Projects’ event venue, 800 Congress, where Austin’s warehouse aesthetic meets chic style.

The latest Parkside Project venture is Jugo, a “grab-and-go destination” where busy, hungry people can pick up quality, healthy juices, smoothies, sandwiches, and more–all with that signature emphasis on fresh, organic, local, and seasonal ingredients.

Take a Parkside Seat

People like fun and flock to it, so Parkside can be bumping. Reservations are always recommended. Should you have to wait, stroll down 6th St. to see what’s shaking (you can always stop at the window in front of Esther’s Follies and take part in the comedic shenanigans). Another option? Go casual and enjoy your food at the bar.

In the kitchen with Parkside owner chef Shawn Cirkiel in Austin
Fresh ingredients inspire chef Shawn Cirkiel. Photo Credit: Parkside Projects

Top Trip Parkside Pick

The raw bar at Parkside has us raving. Oysters! With as many as 16 varieties to choose from, Top Trip Rentals recommends a little of each to hone your palate.

Share Your Food Porn!

Tables and chairs in Austin's Parkside restaurant
Mixing old and new at downtown Austin’s Parkside restaurant. Photo Credit: Parkside Projects

 

How many of native Austinite Shawn Cirkiel’s projects did you visit? Show us at @TopTripRentals what flavors you ingested and which atmospheres you soaked up at these signature spots: Parkside, Olive & June, The Backspace, Bullfight, and Jugo. Go ahead; take a picture of that amazing food and share!

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November 3, 2017