Black-owned Kitchen + Kocktails by Kevin Kelley now has a new location in Washington, D.C. With sister locations in Dallas and Chicago, the upscale restaurant, which serves Southern comfort food, opened in "Chocolate City" on June 16, 2023.
Able to accommodate up to 200 diners, the Instagrammable location has been an immediate success, ensuring Kelley that his decision to open in the District’s downtown area was a sound choice.
“We are extremely happy to be in the nation’s capital,” Kelley shares. “The District of Columbia was an easy choice because our team fell in love with the city and the people within. We believe our menu is different from many cities, and we knew people here would gravitate to our food, flavors and fun.”
A lawyer by profession, Kelley opened the first Kitchen + Kocktails in 2020 in his hometown of Dallas. Kelley was inspired to create his restaurant brand while living abroad in Europe. Though he enjoyed life in Barcelona and Paris, he found himself missing the American foods he ate growing up. He set out on a mission to create the best Southern comfort food restaurant that America and the world at large have ever seen.
“I was motivated to bring variety to comfort food, which led to different flavors for our chicken, pork chops and other proteins, such as Nashville Hot, Asian Cognac, Smothered, Hot Honey and more." It's one of the reasons that sets his establishments apart from other eateries serving Southern fare, the restauranteur says.
Along with the food being seasoned to perfection with the best flavors from the South, the menu offers unique and exciting cocktails. "I love cocktails, so we worked especially hard to create beverages that would be flavorful and fun with creative glassware," Kelley exclaims. “From our TRUE Flame that catches on fire tableside, our frozen piña colada that comes in an actual pineapple and our strawberry jalapeño margarita that will make you feel as if it’s flavored directly from Mexico, we pay attention to the bar,” Kelley says.
The restaurant’s signature dishes include Southern fried chicken and catfish; shrimp and grits with a fried lobster tail on the side; and Jamaican jerk lamb chops. However, Kelley says the staff and ambiance are also a big part of what makes the eatery special. Prioritizing service, the foundation of Kitchen + Kocktails by Kevin Kelley is building teams of people who love to serve.
“Our restaurant encourages you to have fun, like taking photos. We have floral walls in all of our restaurants, fun signage and many other options to ensure your experiences are photographed in an Instagrammable nature.”
The restaurant upholds a dress code to maintain an upscale environment, and reservations can be made at kitchenkocktailsusa.com. Kelley looks forward to opening additional locations across the country in the near future.