Long-time residents Brooke Roseberry and Tony Lagouranis saw the need for a neighborhood gathering place and seized on the opportunity to buy the charming storefront on the corner of California and Shenandoah avenues. Judging from the packed house on both of my visits, they have hit the right note. A large, sparsely appointed yet functional patio greets diners on approach, and tiki torches set a backyard barbecue scene. Inside, the Purple Martin has high ceilings, exposed brick and a bar made from a 1920s boxcar. Colorful pillows line the rustic wooden booths, and pendant lights made from Mason jars cast a warm glow.
Long-time Fox Park residents Brooke Roseberry and Tony Lagouranis dreamed of creating a neighborhood gathering place. They've finally gotten their wish with the Purple Martin. Located in a rehabbed corner storefront, the restaurant is a quaint, casual bistro with Mediterranean and North African fare. Appetizers such as skordalia, a tangy garlic dip, and zeal, a lima-bean-based Berber specialty, serve as zesty starters, while the lamb shank with roasted tomatoes and potatoes is a satisfying entree. Make sure to save room for dessert. The Napoleon, layers of buttery puff pastry, sweet cream and macerated blackberries is a decadent end to a meal. For those who prefer an adult beverage as a nightcap, the Purple Martin boasts a creative cocktail menu. Its namesake drink, a concoction of Fitz’s grape soda, Malibu rum and lime juice, is a sweet and refreshing treat.