After restaurateurs Hugo Matheson and Kimbal Musk opened their third Kitchen Next Door in Glendale last year, our restaurant critic, Gretchen Kurtz, compared the mini-chain to TGI Fridays in its early days — and she meant that as a compliment. In much the same way that the red-and-white, feel-good eatery captured the dining zeitgeist of the 1970s and '80s by offering a consistent product of dishes Americans were craving, so the Kitchen Next Door taps into what Coloradan's want: healthy, consciously sourced ingredients prepared creatively and served in a setting that fosters community. Now Matheson and Musk are growing Next Door into a recognizable brand, with a fourth location slated for a fall 2016 opening in Stapleton's Eastbridge Town Center development.
Next Door's director of operations, Colin Ness, says the new outpost will be a continuation of the company's "community pub" theme. He and culinary director Merlin Verrier are both Stapleton residents and he sees Next Door as a great fit for the neighborhood. "A lot of younger families are looking for chef-driven restaurants they can walk or ride their bikes to," Ness explains.
He adds that the restaurant's price point and open design are definitely family-friendly; the floor plan for the Stapleton location will allow for configurable seating to accommodate different sizes of groups and families who want to dine together. He foresees multiple families, soccer teams and other big groups making Next Door a regular part of the neighborhood experience.
Next Door Stapleton will have a 3,100-sqare-foot imprint in the Eastbridge development at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Havana Street, intended as an east-side anchor to complement the existing Stapleton Town Center at East 29th Avenue and Quebec Street. The new development will also include two eateries from restaurateur Troy Guard: a third Los Chingones and a new breakfast concept.
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Musk and Matheson are also expanding the Kitchen — founded in Boulder — and the Kitchen Next Door beyond Colorado borders. There's already a Kitchen in Chicago and the group is planning on adding both restaurant concepts to Memphis, Tennessee.