Downtown Saratoga Springs NY has another fabulous reason to eat out (or opt for the take-out)! Park Side Eatery, an eat-in/take-out establishment with a chic, warehouse atmosphere will be opening at 42-44 Phila Street, former location of the Saratoga Wine Exchange.
The 5,000 square-foot eatery is being opened by Michael and Heidi Hoyt, owners of Black Diamond Caterers, a successful Saratoga Springs catering company. Park Side Eatery will have the space adjacent to the Hoyt’s catering business, and have an open kitchen with a large main counter where customers can order from their large, diverse menu.
I got in touch with Heidi Hoyt, the excited owner of Park Side Eatery and Black Diamond Caterers to find out a little bit more about their delectable new venture, which can’t be called a restaurant because of its unique style to other Saratoga restaurants!
1. How will Park Side Eatery challenge the typical restaurant atmosphere?
We didn’t invent this style of restaurant, but we’ve been thinking about it for many years. It’s called “Fast Casual” and it is just taking off in the restaurant scene. There is no table service, but there is convenient seating. Many customers will grab and go. That means it’s all about the food! People don’t need to dine every day, but they do need to eat quality food. We will be here to serve that great food every day, without adding the inconvenience of dressing up and sacrificing a large part of the evening just for a good meal.
2. Can you tell us about the fare, including any special or unique dishes or drinks you plan to serve?
We will serve a couple of craft style beers, as well as a root beer on tap! We will also offer craft beers by the growler and the six-pack for people heading out with their order. As far as the food – we will have a few staples and many rotating dishes. We will be serving the barbecue foods that we’ve been serving in our catering business for the last decade. Another staple will be the pastrami and corned beef we are creating in-house. There are too many foods to list here, but be assured we will have an excellent line of lower east side style foods. Soups! What many people don’t know is we have been wholesaling soups in large quantities for 13 years and we produce 72 soups all made from scratch. We will have 6-8 soups and chilis available every day.
Glazed Bäckerei will have a fresh donut line, Austrian and German influenced baked goods, and Rockhill Bakehouse Breads. We are long-time friends with the owner of Rockhill Bakehouse, Matt Funicello. Not only will we be carrying his breads unsliced in their natural, living crust, but Matt will be creating some breads exclusively for us. We’ve been using Rockhill Bread from the beginning so this is a very natural move for us.
Because we are caterers, our restaurant will be heavily focused on catering as well. Not only can customers pre-order catering for pick-up or drop off, but we will have foods available at all times for customers to create their own platters for entertainment. Regional cheese, nuts, spreads, smoked fish, salads, baguettes and much, much more!
3. Where did you get the inspiration for such a diverse menu?
Michael and I are “old school” in our approach to food. Heritage foods can range from meatloaf to knishes to pho. This country is a melting pot of the world’s best foods. These dishes came from generations of diverse families using what grew around them. The spices, meats, vegetables, fish or seafood all part of the spectrum of flavors we want to bring to our customers every day. That includes regional BBQ and traditional Jewish foods, as well as many rotating dishes.
4. What sort of opening do you have planned for the Park Side Eatery?
We will be opening in June. The date has not been confirmed, but we will open with an evening event – invitation only. We are caterers after all! We want to throw a party for the people who have supported us along our thirteen-year path; our clients, business associates and friends! It takes a lot of dedicated customers, support from other businesses, friends and even family to help a business survive. We feel very lucky.
5. Black Diamond Caterers has been at the same location for a long time. Do you think the two businesses will help each other side-by-side?
We predict Black Diamond Caterers will explode. We already have a reputation for great food, well executed events and timely, efficient deliveries. Weddings are our primary off-premise catering, while social and corporate make up most of our drop-and-set catering as well as catering for pick up. This last category is growing massively. We have excellent catering menus for customers to order from and then they simply choose to pick it up or have it dropped off. Finally, they can decide what level of service they require, if any. The bottom line is this, catering is what we do! Why would anyone not want food from a restaurant who does some catering too? We are professional caterers – and now, we own a restaurant too!
6. Your catering business has become successful in the 13 years it has been running. What made you want to open a restaurant?
If we’ve been asked once, we’ve been asked a hundred times why don’t we open a restaurant. To be honest we were never looking to open a restaurant and that is why this restaurant has a market feel and layout. People shop for their foods and check out. It’s a casual counter-style restaurant with some retail food that is all primarily made by us. You can sit down with a draft beer and pulled pork on a roll followed with a donut and coffee. That’s a restaurant.
7. What will be your hours of operation?
At this time we are predicting Monday – Thursday: 10am-8pm, Friday & Saturday: 10am-10pm, Sunday: 8am-6pm (we will offer brunch foods until 1:00pm).
8. Do you cook at home or are you tired of preparing, cooking, and serving food by the end of the day?
We cook! We always have. I even made all our baby food during those baby days. Now, it might be a soup or a nice omelet, but we do cook. Our children grew up being thrilled whenever they ate over a friend’s house and were served hamburger helper or macaroni and cheese. They would talk about it for days…ok, months. They felt cheated somehow, and I won’t get into what I sent in their brown bag lunches!
9. What do you do for fun when you are not running a successful catering business and opening a new eatery?
Michael and I love to tour the area for beer. We appreciate all the love and effort now being put into locally produced beer. We each order a different type and then we share. I am also a hard core gardener. I will be planting all the gardens, flowers, and herbs around Park Side Eatery. Michael is a fly fisherman. Long day trips for perfect fishing are rare, so he tries his craft on a large pond on our road.
10. Is there anything else you would like to add about the soon-to-open Park Side Eatery?
We feel passionately that Park Side Eatery is for everyone in the area and neighborhood. We want construction guys, bankers, office and shop workers, all to come in for their lunch and dinner. Park Side Eatery is to bring everyone together for good food. And isn’t that really what heritage food dishes are all about?
Will you stop in to experience tasty, “Fast Casual” food on your lunch break at Park Side Eatery in beautiful downtown Saratoga Springs, NY?