Kau opens in former Kitchen + Market at Revolution Mill space
Kayne Fisher has unveiled a new brand, a new look and direction for The Kitchen + Market at Revolution Mill. The restaurant and market, which was part of the Natty Greene’s Brewing company brand until last fall, will now be known as Kau, which is pronounced as “cow,” to better reflect the self-taught chef and entrepreneur’s aspirations for the space. Kau will be a restaurant, a butchery, and a bar. Its unveiling took place Jan. 8 with local influencers and media getting a first glance.
The Kitchen + Market opened in its industrial mill quarters in the summer of 2017. It’s a casual restaurant that its curator calls “industrial warmth” that has some upscale items and includes a butcher shop and market. It has been Fisher’s childhood dream.
“I spent summers with my grandparents in Detroit, and when my grandfather got off from Chrysler, we’d go to a deli or a butcher shop, grab some meat and we’d cook that night’s meal. I was always intrigued by the idea of a market and butchery. Since the age of 15, I have had the concept in mind, and this space allowed that to come to life.”
Fisher, who said he’s learned from “the culinary school of life” since age 5, parted with the Natty Greene’s franchise last fall and said the foundational menu that made the Kitchen + Market remains unchanged, but he still wanted to start fresh with a new name to avoid confusion.
“People ask me ‘have you been to culinary school?’ and I answer ‘Yep…still in it since I was 5 years old.’ I have a real drive and passion for food that I’m sure drives the staff nuts. I really am a mad chef. I love coming in and seeing what I can conjure up. I’ve got the greatest refrigerator around, and I get to cook from it!”
Part of the restaurant’s decor is a weathervane that features a bull, and the Hawaiian translation for bull is kau.
“It’s easy to say, somewhat cool, raises curiosity, it’s fun and fits with what I want to do,” Fisher said of the new name. “I did not want to be too literal with the name. I wanted it to have a connection without force-feeding the concept. And the name was in front of us all along.”
Even the sprucing up of the decor and the new logo fits in with Fisher’s Southwestern heritage. The entrepreneur and draught master said he still wants a family-friendly atmosphere with a simple menu. “It’s still simplicity at its finest. The meat and two is still a part of the foundational menu.” However, Fisher said he was ready to challenge that idea. After all, getting creative is half the fun.
“I want to explore with the same fundamental ideas, but also play with some game. I want to challenge the palates of Greensboro, so they try things they’ve never tried.” Fisher said they’re starting with a wild game night on Tuesdays, adding, “Our customers can sample yak or kangaroo without having to fully commit.”
So is Kau a chophouse? Is it a steakhouse? Fisher said yes; but that’s not all it is. “I want anyone to be able to come here. I’ve taken everything I’ve learned, and it’s in my head. You can come as you are and have wings and chili and your dining partner can have charcuterie or a cowboy ribeye.”
What you don’t see often is an old school, in-house butcher within the entire concept. Fisher brings in the raw materials, the animals, and his team breaks them down, grinds the beef, stuffs the sausages, and breaks down the pigs.
Fisher is equally enthusiastic about his market next door.
“It’s growing into a true neighborhood market, but the star is the meat cooler.”
Fisher said the plan is that customers can shop for their protein and ingredients for the sides of their meal but while they’re there, be able to pick up essentials such as detergent and toilet paper. If you’re in a hurry, there are prepared meals and sides such as macaroni and cheese.
“The idea is for you to know your butcher, know the highest quality cuts, and I want it to feel genuine and useful,” Fisher added. “It’s not artisan; it’s a neighborhood grocery store. You can get that night’s meal or stock up for the week.”
What you find in the market is also what’s on the menu for the most part.
“Come get it and take it home, or we’ll cook it for you,” he said. “I’ve searched and searched. It wasn’t arduous because I got to try lots of meat. But I know it’s the best. We use local when we can, and we’ve been fortunate with who’ve we’ve partnered with. We’ll expand as we grow and explore.”
Braveheart Farms Black Angus Prime, Pine Trough Branch Farm, Harmony Ridge Farms, are just a few of the producers you’ll find in the meat case.
“The restaurant was more stripped down and entrée-driven when we were tied into the pub. Now we’ve opened up the playbook. And it’s going to stay that way. I’ve got a lot of plays we’re ready to unleash,” Fisher said. “I’m 49 and just starting over. And I’ve never felt more liberated and excited.”
Kristi Maier is a food writer, blogger and cheerleader for all things local who even enjoys cooking in her kitchen, though her kidlets seldom appreciate her efforts.
Kau Restaurant • Butcher • Bar is located at 2003 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. (336) 971-0754. www.thekitchenandmarket.com