Joe and Katy Kindred plan to open their third restaurant later this year, just a mile from their award-winning namesake restaurant Kindred in Davidson.
Why it matters: Kindred isn’t even in Charlotte, but it’s often called Charlotte’s best restaurant by locals and food critics alike. Any expansion is big news, but especially an expansion that involves naming a restaurant after that famous milk bread.
- The cloud-like bread dish that comes with every meal has been written about in Bon Appétit and Southern Living. We even shared the recipe at the beginning of quarantine last year.
- Its fan club is so strong, there are T-shirts dedicated to the bread.
“Sometimes you don’t know why something takes on a cult following, but the milk bread certainly has,” Katy tells me, adding that it’s taken on even deeper meaning this past year. “(It gave) people this sense of optimism and joy throughout the pandemic.”
[Related guide: I tried to make Kindred’s famous milk bread. Here’s how it went]
What to expect: The new all-day café called Milkbread will have a menu that centers on milk bread donuts. Flavors will include an apple cider-based glaze, chocolate sea salt and a rotating flavor.
- Chef Joe Kindred is still developing the menu, but it’ll also include crispy chicken sandwiches, veggie-forward bowls and salads.
- The coffee program will include a private label house roast by Davidson neighbors Summit Coffee as well as a co-branded espresso roast from HEX Coffee only available at the café.
- Wine and beer will be available in the evening. The wine list will highlight small, independent wineries.
- Sourdough bread will be sourced from Verdant Bread based on Monroe Road.
Joe and Katy call Davidson home so local partnerships with Summit Coffee and others were important in building the concept, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Flashback: You may remember how Summit put together a drive-thru at a former bank at the start of the pandemic. The Kindreds were involved in that, too: They served milk bread doughnuts alongside the Summit coffee, a combo that proved to be so popular, cars would line up before sunrise and police were called in to direct traffic.
- Last year, Summit co-owner Brian Helfrich told me the success of the drive-thru was what fueled their expansion into Charlotte.
“Pandemic pivots” like the milk bread doughnut laid the groundwork for the new café, Katy tells me.
- The Kindred team also tested out crispy chicken sandwiches and a socially distanced sommelier program that offered a rotating selection of unique wines from independent producers.
The vibe: Expect a bright and minimalist feel to the café with counter service ordering. “Contemporary, but not too fussy,” Katy says.
- There will be indoor and outdoor dining available, plus takeout and delivery available.
- The interior design is led by Katy, who also recently launched an interior design firm called Kindred Studio.
Timeline: The Kindreds are hoping to open Milkbread later this year.
Location: 624 Jetton Street in Davidson.
Hours: Open 7am-9pm daily.
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