Several get sneak peak of new restaurant at Elgin, Parlour 1886

One of the appetizer dishes available at the new restaurant at the Elgin. It is the humus platter which features traditional, fresh herb and spicy red pepper humus topped with Parmesan cheese crisps. Laura Fowler Paulus/Free Press
One of the appetizer dishes available at the new restaurant at the Elgin. It is the humus platter which features traditional, fresh herb and spicy red pepper humus topped with Parmesan cheese crisps. Laura Fowler Paulus/Free Press
Many in Marion County got a sneak peek this past weekend at what looks to be a potential new hot spot, and they were not disappointed. The Historic Elgin hotel in Marion is opening a new restaurant called Parlour 1886 later this month. So this past Friday and Saturday, owner Tammy Ensey and her staff invited the public in to sample the menu and check the place out.

“The food was very good,” said Marion resident Gary Ewert. “We need something like this, a place to take family and friends when they come to town.”

“It’s not fast food. You get a nice meal. You can’t beat the décor,” said Elaine Ewert, also from Marion.

Manager Andy Hansen could not agree more that Parlour 1886 has been needed.

“I always have guests ask me about a place to grab a drink and a place for a good burger. This product for this area is way overdue,” said Hansen. “The hours will be Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday brunch.”

Hansen worked closely with Chef Michael Trimboli and Ensey to create a menu and prices that people would like.

“We have a solid steak, a burger with a side and all kinds of meals that are all affordable. This is meant to be a dine in event, not entertainment. For a New Years event or a murder mystery or other special event here, sure you will pay more, but not for just a meal,” said Hansen. “We worked really hard to keep the prices comparable. We went up to Kansas City to our distributors to sit down with them and make sure.”

And atmosphere was also very important to them. In addition to the formal dining room, there is a patio that seats about 20 people.

“The style is a little bit unique in that in addition to the parlor, we will also be able to serve anywhere on the property. So if you want to hang out in a quieter spot somewhere with your family you can,” said Hansen.

Hansen spoke about how much he enjoyed working on the project with the contractors and all involved in the construction.

“The workers enjoyed being part of a project in a building that has been here so long and will be here for another 100 years. Everyone was super engaged and it made it really fun.

The excitement carried through the evening even with the servers as they visited with guests. The Chef also came out to greet diners as he had some time. And all of the guests had positive things to say about the food.

Marg Jensen, Marion, ate there with her two daughters before the Marion High School football game.

“It was very good. The salad was gorgeous and delicious. The shrimp was huge and good.”

Randy and Janet Whisenhunt, Hillsboro, came over to try it out. Both said they will be back for sure once the restaurant opens up for good.

“The food is lovely with such a beautiful presentation,” said Janet. “It was a delightful dining experience.”

“The atmosphere is great, and we loved the food,” said Randy. “Thumbs up, for sure.”

All in all, the preview seemed to be a hit and people are ready for the real thing.

“I feel that our sneak peek event was a huge success. There was a great turnout from both the community and guests from out of town that were visiting for Old Settlers. Patrons praised the amazing food Chef Mike prepared and were astonished at the restaurant space that manager Andy Hansen oversaw construction of. We look forward to opening full time before the end of October,” said Ensey.