Chef Kelly Whitaker will bring creative American fusion to Berkeley

Chef Kelly Whitaker wants to make an impact with every new venture, no matter the business.

Sign up now to receive our daily alerts on the latest news

Disable at any time

“No matter what project we touch, we want to add value to the neighborhood. I want it to be something special for the neighborhood,” Whitaker said in a chat with What Now.

This includes Hey kidWhitaker’s new vision for the Berkeley neighborhood in 4337 Tennyson Street. A play on Japan’s Hokkaido region, the new restaurant will take a more casual approach to dining than its high-end cuisine at The Wolf’s Tailor and Bruto, Whitaker aims for Hey Kiddo to be an accessible, communal place that offers creative dishes to the people who live there and people who work in the service industry.

“Hey Kiddo emphasizes drop-in visits. The idea is that it’s for the neighborhood,” Whitaker said. “It’s a restaurant that lets people eat later in the evening. We don’t close at 9 or 10. It’s a place for service workers to have a nice meal after work.

First reported by the Denver Post, Hey Kiddo will feature 45 indoor seats and an outdoor rooftop seating nearly 60, complete with fire pits. Aft, guests can relax at Ok Yeah, a separate 16-seat cocktail bar. An opening is scheduled for the end of 2022 but an opening in early 2023 is likely pending construction.

In addition to not taking reservations (except for major holidays), Hey Kiddo will work with Resy to connect people who are within a mile or closer of the restaurant to let them know what food specialties are popping up at Hey Kiddo . And man, will there be a lot of dishes that will fly away. Whitaker said 25% or more of the menu could change in a single day. Working with Chef Deuki Honghis, Hey Kiddo will balance this constant change with consistent menu items that might only change twice a year due to changing seasons and farmer’s market availability.

“We’re pushing food here,” Whitaker said. “We want to add food and fun. Not all food concepts are fun and not all fun things are food concepts.

This adoption of menu changes also goes to Whitaker’s Id Est Hospitality Group’s commitment to local foods and renewable practices.

“Sustainability and planetary well-being with a loud vibe,” Whitaker said. “We want this work to touch people, and we want it to have meaning. We want our projects to help define and work towards solutions that affect our industry. »

That means working with local farmers, fermenting food on site, and grinding your own grains into flour.

“How can we do things under one roof that allow them to pass? What allows us to use things across the building to be a pillar and a learning point for other restaurants? Whitaker asks.

This is the underlying meaning of the group Id Est. Latin for “that is”, we use id is to mean “for example”. Through these ventures, Whitaker and his team are trying to lead by example for a more sustainable food system. At Hey Kiddo, this will be integrated into a fun and funky hip-hop vibe atop the Asher Hotel.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: