Industry veteran Brian Hamilton is turning Kettle Black Kitchen, his meal pick-up service, into a Monroe Street restaurant.
Hamilton cooks in a commercial kitchen and currently offers twice weekly pick-up for comfort food dishes from his east side Madison home. He plans to put these on pause for about a month while he gets the permits in place to take over 1835 Monroe St., the former location of Joon, Burgrito's and Double S BBQ.
"I'm hoping to open within a month," Hamilton said. "All I have to do is put in a floor and equip the kitchen."
Hamilton had originally imagined (and permitted) Kettle Black as a vendor at festivals. 2020 changed his plans.
Now, he makes freezer-to-oven meals like shepherd's pie and pot pie, meal kits for things like chicken dijonnaise and pizza, and ready to eat dishes like tacos, shrimp and grits and chuck roast braised with port wine. Entrees cost between $12 and $14.
In the new spot, Hamilton plans to "continue doing exactly what I’m doing now, expanded," he said. Pick-up days will stay the same on the east side (though he's actively looking for a commercial partner to host them) with four pick-up days on Monroe.
At the restaurant, Hamilton plans to apply for a full liquor license and eventually have a dine-in menu there that's separate but related to the food he makes for meal kits. He would like to pursue outdoor dining options if the neighborhood is supportive. For now, the dining room won't be open inside.
"I'm hoping we'll be able to sell takeout food out of the restaurant as soon as possible," Hamilton said. "I'm starting to coalesce an image, a line through the food I'm selling — slightly French and slightly Southern and comfortable, accessible, but still a little fancy."