Chicago has delighted Kevin Kelley ever since he decided to carry his Dallas restaurant to River North. Kelley sees Kitchen + Kocktails by Kevin Kelley as Chicago’s subsequent nice restaurant, to enhance a downtown Chicago scene and attracting diners who frequent energetic eating rooms like Maple & Ash and Adalina.
He believes that there’s no restaurant in America (past his Dallas location) that serves consolation meals (gadgets like lobster macaroni and cheese and a tomahawk steak with a Hennessy cognac glaze) in a setting like Kitchen + Kocktails offers. That’s enjoyable, upscale, and match for particular events.
“We simply wish to serve individuals and wish to make them completely happy,” Kelley says.
The house featured LEDs and Instagrammable shows just like the inevitable neon angel wings. Kelley warns that prospects gained’t hear “elevator music” however the tunes they’d play within the automobile, dropping the names of Chicago artists like Frequent and Likelihood The Rapper.
A high precedence for Kelley is encouraging prospects to decorate up. Dress codes at eating places will be slippery slopes, however Kelly is intent in imposing that very same requirements he’s established in Dallas. Meaning no sports activities jerseys, caps, or athletic slippers. Additionally of word, as explained on Instagram, are restrictions on “revealing outfits” that “present a lady’s non-public components.”
There is perhaps a generational schism on what prospects really feel is acceptable in relation to costume codes, however Kelley says he feels Chicago has already embraced the costume code as he desires an environment the place individuals really feel good and are “surrounded by individuals dressed superbly.”
Whether or not the attractive individuals present up or not, Kelley says there’s already a stiff demand for reservations (which he’s releasing each two weeks). In Dallas, skilled athletes just like the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott and former Cowboy Dez Bryant had been identified to cease by. Kelley hopes Chicago athletes from the Bulls and Bears will discover their methods to his restaurant. Different celebs which have visited Dallas embrace 50 Cent, plus actor and comedian Invoice Bellamy. Whereas the Kelley is amped in serving well-known individuals, he warns that celebrities aren’t what he considers his actual VIPs: It’s the common prospects who will make or break his enterprise.
With that in thoughts, the restaurant is opening with lunch and brunch service in the beginning. As dinner reservations are booked for the quick future, walk-ins might be welcomed on the bar space. Whereas the menu is just like Dallas, Kelley will nonetheless pander to Chicago’s Black neighborhood with references to Rev. Jesse Jackson and the town’s first Black mayor, Harold Washington. There’s additionally a photograph of Beyonce sporting a Bulls’ Derrick Rose jersey and images of Barack and Michelle Obama. Kelley says it’s vital to pay tribute to Black politicians and celebrities who’ve damaged into the mainstream, and to acknowledge their accomplishments.
Kelley, an lawyer by commerce, is grateful to the help he’s obtained in Chicago. Town’s actual property market is a troublesome nut to crack, particularly for Black entrepreneurs. He talked about names like Kenny Johnson, the proprietor of Bureau Bar, and his actual property dealer, David Goldberg, for opening up alternatives. He might produce other Chicago initiatives up his sleeve, however for now, he’s prepared to indicate Chicago a superb time in River North.
Check out the house, meals, and drinks beneath.
Kitchen + Kocktails by Kevin Kelley, 444 N. Wabash, open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday by Thursday 10 a.m.to 11 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Weekend brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.