After a break from the headlines, Mika Paredes is back, and she's teaming up with Bunk's Tommy Habetz to open Girls Club, a weekly pop-up held in the new garden behind Pizza Jerk, the punk-rock family pizzeria on NE 42nd Avenue.
Paredes is best known as the attention-catching chef de cuisine at Naomi Pomeroy's Beast, and she tells Eater she took time off to travel, then spent several years working closely with the late, great, acclaimed food writer, Josh Ozersky. Most recently, she's served as culinary director of Ozersky's Meatopia, the festival of "all things meat," and she says Habetz has been pushing her. "I've really missed the kitchen."
A friend of 12 years, Habetz says he's is extremely excited to taste the return of Paredes's cooking. Though Girls Club will be a partnership of some sort, Paredes will rule the kitchen. "I'm just happy she hired me as sous chef," says Habetz.
Paredes expects meals to run three to four courses, perhaps with themes, and to accommodate around 20 guests a dinner, with one to two seatings a night. "I want to have really detail-oriented food," says Paredes, "but not tweezer food or stacking things. I make food like I listen to music: Analog, not digital. Records, not mp3s."
Girls Club will have a "backyard party" vibe, so expect a DIY feel, with areas for exploring—wine glass in hand—and tables set among raised garden beds full of herbs, greens, tomatoes, and eggplants. An outdoor wood-fired oven—currently being constructed—and the fresh produce from the garden will define the cooking.
Girls Club currently hopes to open by late spring or early summer, and Habetz and Paredes say they do not want to compete with the popular pop-up across the street, Mae, so Girls Club will likely take place weekly on nights when Mae isn't open. There's no website yet, so stay tuned for more details here.