A brand-new restaurant with a unique architectural design, fresh fare and a heavy focus on the bar program arrived in Colu­mbia, Missouri, on Sat., Dec. 1. Located on Columbia's south side, Park Restaurant and Bar will be one of the few places in town that will take reservations.

The menu is divided into shareable small plates, sandwiches, large plates, salads (which can also be turned into wraps) and desserts. You'll notice a slight Asian influence in items like the tempura-battered shrimp with sweet chili sauce, poke stacked on crispy wonton chips, Korean bulgogi beef nachos, marinated kalbi short ribs, a Korean pineapple burger and Thai basil chicken. The menu also highlights locally sourced ingredients, along with gluten-conscious and vegetarian options. The Hemme Brothers cheese plate, for instance, spotlights cheeses from the Sweet Springs cheese farm, while the pork porterhouse is made with pork from Patchwork Family Farms in Columbia.

The space itself features a large table for community seating as well as an outdoor patio. The main focal point, however, is the bar, which features an eye-catching sculpture and televisions. "We designed the whole restaurant around the bar area, so it’s something we think is going to really be attractive to people,” spokesman Jack Cardetti says.

The bar even features extendable wings that allow diners to sit at the bar while still enjoying the experience of sitting at a table. To drink, you'll find more than a dozen rotating beers on tap, infused cocktails and a heavy focus on the whiskey selection. Cocktails range from sippers like The Scarlett with berry purée, Hendricks gin, St. Germain, Campari and lemon juice to The Skyline with Buffalo Trace, Luxardo cherry, vermouth, bitters and a lemon twist.

Park also offers diners the ability to order online and take any meal to go; a separate door for takeout makes the experience even more convenient. "We’re trying to be a part of the [food] scene and forge a little bit of new territory," Cardetti says.

Above all, Cardetti and the owners emphasize that the restaurant will be a fresh, inviting place for its guests. "A park is a gathering place for people to meet and we want the restaurant to be the same," Cardetti says. 

Park will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11am to 11pm and Friday through Saturday from 11am to 1am.

Park Restaurant and Bar, 4380 Nocona Pkwy., Columbia, Missouri, 573.554.1955, dineatpark.com