Juancarlo Parkhurst fondly remembers the time he spent as a kid in Florent, a French diner in New York City, where he saw people from all walks of life come in to enjoy the food and atmosphere.
“That must have etched itself in my memory,” he said Friday.
On Thursday, Parkhurst opened his own restaurant in downtown Silver Spring, Lina’s Diner and Bar, which he said he hopes will attract all types of people and serve as “a small little oasis away from the hustle and bustle.”
“We really just want to be a chill neighborhood restaurant,” he said. “Silver Spring is an incredibly diverse community—hopefully we are appealing to a good segment of them.”
The exterior and interior of Lina’s.
Lina’s is open at 8402 Georgia Ave., the former space of the Piratz Tavern that briefly served as a temporary location to the Quarry House Tavern. Parkhurst described it as a “new American diner rooted in French technique.”
On the menu are French items like frisee aux lardons for $10.95, alongside other diner options such as a TNT toast with tuna tartare for $12.95 or a double cheeseburger for $14.95. It has draft beer, wines, and cocktails including daiquiris and Bloody Marys.
It’s open for dinner during its soft opening this weekend, and Parkhurst said he expects to start lunch service and happy hour around the beginning of June.
The bar and restaurant seats about 90 and features a bar and an outdoor patio, called “Sam’s Garden” after Parkhurst’s son. He said his son would have been offended if he didn’t name anything after him—as Lina’s is named after his daughter.
Parkhurst labeled the vibe of the restaurant as “a little eclectic, maybe a little Bohemian.” He has a painting of his daughter in a parlor area near the front, as well as an old bike docked on the wall and Audubon Society plates from his grandma on display.
He said diners have told him that the restaurant feels like something in Washington, D.C., or New York. He wants to capture that trendy atmosphere, but still keep the restaurant modest.
“You know, we’re a diner, if you order a beer, it’s going to come out in a can,” he said. “We want it to be certain aspects of casual dining while still trying to be as attentive as you would find in a more upscale place.”
Decoration including bird plates that were a gift from his grandmother. Below: Juancarlo Parkhurst. Credit all photos: Joe Zimmermann