A peek inside Parts and Labour, a new Parkdale restaurant that unites owners of The Social, Oddfellows and Castor Design

A peek inside Parts and Labour, a new Parkdale restaurant that unites owners of The Social, Oddfellows and Castor Design

Parts and Labour: under construction (Image: Karon Liu)

First Cowbell, then Local Kitchen, and now this.

With the arrival of Parts and Labour, a hardware store transformed into a restaurant, the tail end of Queen West takes another step from weekend antiquing destination to social hub. Parkdale locals are excited about the new spot, and with good reason: it represents a new partnership between the owners of The Social, Castor Design and Oddfellows.

During a tour with Richard Lambert, one of the owners, we’re told that Parts and Labour is designed for “Social graduates who want to be more mature and don’t go out to clubs as much anymore.” He adds with a laugh, “We also have a no-electronic-music policy.”

Although the space is huge (6,000 square feet) and seats 120, Lambert insists that Parts and Labour is not a supper club catering to rich, condo-dwelling 30-somethings. “I hate the term ‘supper club,’” he says. “This is first and foremost a restaurant, but with a laid-back, rock ’n’ roll vibe to it.” And since the neighbourhood has many low-income housing complexes, Lambert says the goal is to make the place inviting to everyone—not just fans of Oddfellows and The Social. “You can have bolognese for $12 or a salad for $6. There are also entreés for $35. You can spend $10 or $100 here.”

The restaurant is still weeks away from opening, but elements of Oddfellows and Castor Design are already evident. Designers Brian Richer and Kei Ng are bringing in communal tables (eight in the main dining room), as well as their iconic cylindrical light fixtures made of fluorescent bulbs. The firm is also playing up its quirkiness with a wall made of car windshields at the entrance and bar stools that resemble huge springs.

Oddfellows’ chef, Matty Matheson, will be in charge of the menu and will be cooking here five nights a week (he will retain his post as executive chef at Oddfellows). The back of the restaurant will double as a venue for parties and art shows, and the basement, called The Shop, will act as a music venue.

“It’s definitely becoming a foodie destination,” says Lambert. “Cowbell is beside us, and Mitzi’s Sister is a few doors down. It’s the reason why we’re here. We’re not in a saturated neighbourhood, so we can be more flexible with what we do. I don’t think this would work if we opened on Richmond.”

Parts and Labour, 1566 Queen St. W. (at Sorauren Ave.), 416-588-7750, partsandlabour.ca.