Mainstreet Eats

Black + Haus Tavern serves up creative cocktails and fresh food to downtown Parke

Article by Hannah Echols Grieser

Photography by Raemi Rue Photography

Originally published in Parker Lifestyle

At the coveted corner of Mainstreet there is a new Parker tradition and a table with your name on it. Black + Haus Tavern is downtown’s newest spot for sustainable, healthy, and satisfying fare. True to its name, Jen Black and her husband, Brent Niedringhaus, opened Black +Haus Tavern the day after Black Friday last year. As the restaurant approaches its one-year anniversary, the couple celebrates continual growth despite indoor dining mandates and labor shortages.

Around four in the afternoon, the sun-soaked patio begins to fill with people indulging in an after-work cocktail. Jen sits in the tavern’s cozy interior underneath a string of Edison bulbs as she discusses plans for a new private dining area. Already the space has been booked with baby showers, rehearsal dinners, and Christmas parties. The resurgence of local events and festivals keeps Jen and Brent busy as well, amidst all of the day-to-day duties of a restaurateur.

In addition to ambiance and a commitment to local living, Black + Haus shines in their chef-driven menu as well. The head chef, Kurt Eichenberger, has worked with Jen for six years. Coming from a corporate background, he and Jen both love the freedom that comes with owning a local business. He was given liberty when crafting the menu and describes the cuisine as “unconditionally fun and accessible.” Everything is made from scratch to provide guests with the most natural and fresh ingredients.

“It’s not like I have to deconstruct my meal to make it suit my dietary needs. We focus on that kind of healthy living,” Jen explains after listing their abundance of gluten free and vegetarian options.

Her favorite menu item is the crispy cauliflower. Lightly fried and adorned with sriracha aioli and sesame seeds, it’s not your average vegetable. On the other hand, Parker’s favorite item is the Black + Haus Burger. This number one seller boasts of bacon jam, cheddar, garlic confit aioli, arugula, and caramelized onions on a toasted Kaiser bun.

The tavern also has a drink to pair perfectly with any meal. Their goal was to create an all-inclusive experience so that every palate and preference leaves satisfied. The wine room is the centerpiece of the restaurant and holds over thirty wines by the glass and over thirty more by the bottle. Bourbon lovers have the option to choose from 115 different varieties and several special drinks, such as the Black Walnut Manhattan with Maker’s Mark, sweet vermouth, and black walnut bitters. The staff enjoys curating creative cocktails, and the menu rotates with the season so locals can always try something new.

Ultimately, Jen and Brent’s goal is to be a spot where the people of Parker can enjoy a great meal, celebrate what’s good, and build community. They appreciate Parker’s loyalty, and they look forward to meeting you!

“If you support your neighborhood, your neighborhood will support you,” Jen says.

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