K-n-K Kitchen officially open for business
By the time this is being read, the news is already out, that the former “Old Homeplace” restaurant has re-opened as K-N-K’s Kitchen. The surrounding communities have been anxiously awaiting the opening.
The Grand Opening took place Tuesday morning with new owners, Keith (Shorty) Jones and partner Kimberly Shaw, welcoming their guests to breakfast.
Jones, aka Shorty and whose caricature, drawn by Shaw, is featured on the new menu, hails from Virginia Beach, Va. where he has two restaurants.
Shorty, a misnomer, who at six feet, eight inches always wears shorts, both in winter and summer, will be highly visible at the newly re-opened eatery.
“I plan to learn the names of the regular customers and get to know everybody,” Jones said, adding that he plans to inquire if the food is as it should be, if the service is top quality and said he will welcome comments, good or bad.
In October 2012, building co-owners Kimberly Shaw and Bob Wolfe were contacted by then leaseholder Patrick Barger of Marion, who told them he planned to close “The Old Homeplace.” The restaurant closed in December.
Shaw returned to the area from Florida earlier this year after battling cancer for several months. Jones, an old friend, came to visit her and totally fell in love with Southern Illinois and decided to stay and open the restaurant, he said.
Jones has a long history of experience in the restaurant industry and said food preparation is in his Italian genes. Several members of his family also own restaurants.
Shaw and Wolfe continue to own the building, with Jones owning the restaurant proper. The K-N-K stands for Keith and Kimberly, but the second K said, “I am only the co-owner of the building. You won’t see me here, except to eat.” However, she has assisted with the decorations and has offered ideas.
The other K, however, will be around several hours each day, he said, with the restaurant’s business hours of Sunday-Thursday-6am-10pm and Friday-Saturday-6 am-11pm keeping him plenty busy.
Freshly painted walls in a warm cream replace the green walls, and a re-arrangement of new tables and chairs, along with displays of antiques on the walls, give the dining area an inviting atmosphere.
Jones said new booths are being constructed, to order, and will be installed in the near future.
Customers will enjoy seeing “Shorty’s Cabin”, that has been installed as a divider between the entrance and the dining area. Take a look at vintage photos of his ancestors, along with primitive and antique articles.
The cashier area has been renovated as well, and an employee will always be present here at all times, preventing a wait to pay the check.
Jones was happy to re-hire all but one of the previous servers. The servers and newly hired cooks, have received complete training. There will be two cooks in the kitchen at all times. Every item will be cooked to order, Jones pointed out, which may take longer, but each will be freshly made. While waiting, the servers will be offering free tasty samples.
An introductory opening was held on Saturday evening, to invited guests, that also included the village board, chamber members, and others.
The restaurant was also open on Sunday and Monday, prior to Tuesday’s grand opening.