Kitchen No. 324 will close for five days beginning Labor Day for a small but important remodel. Heather Paul, co-owner and co-founder of A Good Egg Dining Group, said the restaurant will eliminate the highboy area near the front of the restaurant in what she calls a “mini renovation.”
“We designed that area as a place to grab a quick bite, but now we need more seating for dinner service,” Paul says. “We’re excited about the changes, as they will allow us to offer much more to our guests.”
As part of the evolving focus of Kitchen No. 324, a full-service bar will be placed front and center before the main entry door.
“We changed our bar focus about a year and a half ago to offer more cocktail options, but this will allow us to do even more,” Paul continues. “The bar will be behind where the current hostess stand is, and we’ll have 6-8 seats for bartop.”
There will be no net gain in seating with the remodel, as the highboys are being removed and replaced with a banquette to match the existing seating throughout the restaurant. Two long tables will also be included in the remodeled space.
In another major move, all kitchen facilities will be moved downstairs. Currently, 324 has the heavy equipment – ovens, ranges, flattops, etc. – downstairs, with warming and food holding upstairs. Bringing the whole kitchen together will allow for more menu flexibility and efficiency in the back of house.
Paul said she believes more people are coming to or staying in downtown now, which has increased the demand for dinner service. The company has also been marketing evening options on social media, beginning with its Fried Chicken Monday campaign.
“As Midtown has gotten more dense, we’ve seen more dinner traffic to downtown,” she says. “Places like Revolucion and Sunnyside have gotten people moving south toward downtown.”
Jones Assembly, Mary Eddy’s and Patrono are also likely pulling business out of Midtown, as parking becomes more of a challenge in an area of the city that continues to add bars and restaurants. Finding parking in proximity to Kitchen No. 324 can seem nearly impossible for brunch and weekday lunch, but the business traffic is gone by dinner service, meaning diners can easily find up-close parking at restaurants such as 324 and Patrono. Paul also believes that some of the dinner traffic is coming from residents of downtown and the surrounding districts.
“Based on apartment construction, it seems more people are still moving down here to live,” she says. “Some of them practice the ‘stick where you live’ lifestyle of walking and biking to businesses that are close.”
Construction begins on Labor Day and is scheduled to wrap up by Friday evening, allowing for a Saturday open at 7 am on September 9. Paul said to check social media to ensure the remodel remains on schedule. And enjoy the new look.
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