Stylish French restaurant LaV has been closed for two years, but now the East 7th Street space finally has a new tenant: chef Shawn Cirkiel and his restaurant group Parkside Projects turned the restaurant building and its next-door outdoor yard into an event space dubbed 7co. The name is a reference to the address at East 7th and Comal streets.
The transformation from LaV into 7co was completed last fall. Cirkiel described it as being “stylistically the same,” but more “emotionally connected.” The space was opened way up — “addition by subtraction,” he explained — the wine room is gone, but those hanging light fixtures remain. The remodel was done by Office for Local Architecture.
The kitchen makes it easier for Parkside’s event catering. Overseeing those is culinary director Justin Rupp, who used to be the executive chef of Olive & June, one of Parkside’s restaurants. 7co has already hosted events, and it’s already booked for future galas, parties, and SXSW events.
LaV owner Ralph Eads sold the East Austin space to real estate investor David Kahn, who was originally looking for a local restaurant to take over the lease.
Eads opened LaV in March 2014 with a strong female team: executive chef Allison Jenkins (who left in June 2015), wine director and then-partner Vilma Mazaite (who became a consultant in October 2015), and pastry chef-then executive chef Janina O’Leary (who left in October 2015, and now she is currently working in San Francisco).
Event spaces aren’t new to Parkside Projects, which already runs 800 Congress in downtown Austin. The company’s other restaurants also include Parkside (which is celebrating its ten-year anniversary this month), The Backspace, Bullfight, and Jugo.