First look: S.A.’s latest Southern sets opening date
A husband and wife tandem with more than 50 years in the food and hospitality industry are set to open the first restaurant they have built from the ground up, Eastside Kitchenette, Jan. 9 on the East Side.
And it hasn’t been easy. Owners Jeff and Jenn White have spent the past year reconfiguring a Government Hill-area home at Interstate 35 and New Braunfels Avenue, that was built in 1906 and was previously a Mexican restaurant. They had to pass 28 city inspections before the space was fully up to code.
“There was a time when I had to almost check out, because of how exhaustive the process was,” Jenn White said.
The inside space has been completely renovated with a new bar area, a new scenic porch space that seats 40 and overlooks the downtown skyline, and a kitchen that’s equipped with all the creature comforts and plenty of space.
“One of the main reasons for the delay (in opening) was that we really wanted to get this right and not take any shortcuts,” Jeff White said. “Everything that I want in a kitchen is accounted for, and we have room to do what we need to do comfortably.”
The Whites were the former operators of Tucker’s Kozy Korner, but ended their lease agreement in October to concentrate on finishing Eastside Kitchenette. Jeff White is the former executive chef at Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden at the Pearl.
The Kitchenette menu, which is still being finalized, is heavy on sandwiches, comfort food and Southern regional classics. There will also be a daily happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. with drink and snack specials.
On the lunch menu, look for items like barbecue meatloaf sandwiches, pimento and bacon hushpuppies, charred octopus tacos, fried chicken and drunken mussels. There are also plans to offer daily blue-plate specials.
The dinner menu, which is offered daily after 5 p.m., features cornmeal-dusted oysters, Champagne-roasted beets, a chicken-fried steak made with Akaushi beef, country-fried duck confit and blue crab-stuffed catfish.
Brunch will be served every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with barbecue shrimp and grits, apple cider French toast, pork belly hash and the other traditional egg and waffled favorites.
“The main thing is that we wanted a menu that was approachable and identifies with the community around us,” Jeff White said. “Lunch and happy hour will be big for us.”
The cocktail lineup from the full bar is still in development.
Eastside Kitchenette will be open seven days a week and will offer brunch, lunch and dinner, but Jeff White said that after the Jan. 9 opening, it will be lunch and happy hour only for about two weeks before dinner service launches.
“We want to get all the kinks ironed out first and make sure we have a handle on everything,” Jeff White said.
Eastside Kitchenette, 2119 N. Interstate 35, no phone yet. Hours (tentative): 11 a.m. to 10 p.m Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Fridays, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays. Facebook: Eastside-Kitchenette
Chuck Blount is a food writer and columnist covering all things grilled and smoked in the San Antonio area. Find his Chuck’s Food Shack columns on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com, or read his other coverage on our free site, mySA.com. | email@example.com | Twitter: @chuck_blount | Instagram: @bbqdiver