Holloway said Nichols will serve the same quality burgers and fries that draw customers from across the country to Nic's Grill, but they may be slightly less gargantuan.
“These will be a smaller version of what he does at 10th and Penn,” Holloway said. “A little more refined that will leave room for a cold beer and a shake for dessert.”
Holloway expects the patio seating arrangement, located around fountains that double as the ice rink during the winter, will far exceed the scarce seating at Nic's Grill.
The Park House, meanwhile, is set to open by late October.
Holloway said the menu hasn't been totally worked out for Park House, but chefs Cally Johnson (Big Truck Tacos, Mutt's Hog Dogs, Cafe 501 at Classen Curve) and Jonathan Krell (previously of Stella Modern Italian Food) will have input on the development and operation of the kitchen. Holloway said the plan is for Park House to offer an approachable, affordable menu.
“There's a wide variety of people who visit the Myriad Gardens,” he said. “We want all of them to feel welcome to enjoy a meal in Park House or on the patio.”
The Holloways own Cafe 501 in Classen Curve and the original location and bakery in Edmond along with neighboring Boulevard Steakhouse and The Martini Lounge. Peter Holloway founded the original Pepperoni Grill in Penn Square Mall and learned his craft as managing partner of Val Gene Associates restaurant group, which opened 14 restaurants between the 1960s and 1990s, including Harry Bear's, Texanna Reds, the Hungry Peddler, and the Eagle's Nest.
Tolbert, whose involvement with the Myriad Gardens goes back to the original opening 25 years ago, admitted the search for a restaurant operator wasn't easy; he initially hoped to have the restaurant open last year.
But looking back, Tolbert said, that opening might have hurt the viability of the restaurant due to ongoing construction of adjoining streets and a community that had yet to be fully introduced to the new Myriad Gardens.
“It's just perfect,” Tolbert said. “This is an ideal moment to do this. The public has come to the gardens, they've seen what we've got, they're excited, and we've absolutely found the right operator.”