By Kevin Collison
The culinary journey of 2101 Broadway the past few years has gone from Italy to Chicago and is now about to serve up an entirely new geographical blend, French and Southern American, as in Arkansas.
Kim and Clarence Cole plan to open the Foodlove Cafe in the space most recently occupied by Broadway Deli, and continue the cooking traditions of their 15 year-old catering business at their full-service restaurant.
Kim said her food formula is a blend of recipes she learned from her grandmothers, one from Little Rock, the other European, and her formal training at the former L’Ecole Culinaire in the Plaza.
“We’ve fused the cuisines together to come up with dishes that are both French and Southern American,” she said. “We created our own genre.”
For example, her “Big Mama’s Fried Chicken” is based on our Arkansas grandmother’s fried chicken recipe that’s then drizzled with French pan gravy.
“It takes fried chicken to a whole new level,” she said.
Her macaroni and cheese recipe uses several different European cheeses to elevate it from the ordinary American style.
As part of its renovation, the Coles are removing the counter tops from the previous owner, the short-lived Broadway Deli, which served deli sandwiches featuring meats from the famed Chicago Jewish deli, Manny’s.
It’s returning it more to the restaurant feel of Pezzettino Italian Deli and Market, the previous, previous occupant.
Cole said the interior will seat about 100 people and the outdoor patio another 24.
For the Coles, opening a restaurant in the Crossroads Arts District is a return to one of their favorite places. Both are natives of Kansas City.
“I’m an artist and I used to show my work in the 90s and early 2000s when First Friday was born,” she said. “Going to First Fridays was our date night.”
Kim continues to paint and some of her works will be displayed at the Foodlove.
The couple hope to open their place by the end of the month, they’re still waiting to obtain their liquor license from the city.
The new Foodlove Cafe will join the recently opened Society restaurant and bar, and the food and beverage offerings of the nearby Crossroads Hotel, in creating a new destination for diners in downtown.
Complimentary parking for Foodlove will be available at a garage located close by at 21st and Northwestern.
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