Chef Paul Iglesias, known for his stint as manager at Canela Bistro & Wine Bar on Market Street, is opening his own restaurant in Uptown Oakland. On January 13 the restaurateur will debut Parche at 2295 Broadway, where he’ll serve dishes showcasing myriad forms of Colombian cooking. After cutting his teeth throughout the Bay Area, Iglesias is ready to tap into his Colombian heritage. “I want to be respectful of all the people and culture that encompasses Colombia,” Iglesias says. “The African aspect, the Lebanese aspect, the Indigenous aspect, and the pre-Colobmbian aspect.”
Iglesias calls Parche “contemporary Colombian” — from the design, which is meant to share Colombian history through art and photos, to a menu that focuses on small plates and shareable items. Diners can expect build-your-own ceviches with a choice of rock cod; a mixto of shrimp, calamari, and white fish; or vegetarian. Guests can also order posta negra, a slow-cooked short rib dish featuring coconut puree and heart of palm salad, a classic Colombian Caribbean dish.
Iglesias wanted to feature options from both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and says a pork belly ceviche will show up on the menu, as part of a full spread Iglesias calls the “ceviche matrix.” Arepas, empanadas, and yuca fritters stuffed with crab and squid ink will be available, as well. Plus, the cocktails will be top-notch: Eric Syed of the Brixton in Washington D.C. is helming the beverage program. Plenty of shareable, fun food was central to the chef. “I say there are three things I care about in food,” Iglesias says. “Sharing is caring, you can always order more, and hospitality is life.”
Iglesias grew up in the American South after his Colombian grandfather met his grandmother in college in Alabama. “When you come from a large family, everyone has to cook,” Iglesias laughs. He began in the industry as a kid, first as a busser, before working his way up and gaining expertise in Spanish restaurants. His brother opened Oakland’s Calavera in 2015, and Igelsias came in to help open the restaurant before being contracted to help open Telefèric Barcelona in Walnut Creek. Not long after he linked up with chef Nelson German to work at alaMar. Most recently, he worked at Canela from February 2017 until 2023, when he left to focus on Parche. “I want to stay consistent and honor the people who come in,” Iglesias says. “That’s my thought process.”
Parche opens on January 13 at 2295 Broadway in Uptown Oakland with reservations available through Resy before opening.
Update: January 6, 12:31 p.m.: This story has been updated to accurately reflect Igelsias’s work history at Telefèric Barcelona in Walnut Creek and alaMar in Oakland.