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Creole Kitchen to Open Sit-Down Expansion this Fall

Rebecca Wagner Rebecca Wagner Creole Kitchen to Open Sit-Down Expansion this FallPhotos by Rebecca Wagner.
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Creole Kitchen, well-known in Columbus circles for its authentic cajun cuisine, will finally be opening a sit-down dining room operation. The newly expanded restaurant will open its doors early this fall.

The small carryout operation, located at 1052 Mt. Vernon Avenue, will be expanding into the space next door, a former hair salon. The new space, which will operate as a full service dine-in operation, will seat 60 to 70 guests. According to CEO Antoinette Parks, the interior will be set up like historical New Orleans, imitating the look of Canal Street and Royal Street. The nearly 2,000 square foot interior will include a stage that will host live entertainment each week, mainly jazz, blues, and poetry readings. A small bar adjacent to the stage will serve beer and wine.

Creole Kitchen got its start back in 2005, when Chef Henry Butcher was still working in fine dining. He proposed the idea of the restaurant to Parks, who drafted a business plan. The carryout restaurant opened in 2006 and quickly gained a following.

As for the menu, new items will be mixed in with classic favorites from the carryout menu, which will remain the same. Gator bites, chicken rochambeau in spicy hollandaise sauce, oysters rockefeller, and creole barbecue shrimp are just a few of the new dishes. Butcher, who’s worked in the restaurant industry for 50 years, is excited to move away from styrofoam carryout boxes to a more creative sit-down meal presentation.

“It’s going to be a whole different level from the carryout operation,” said Parks.

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The restaurant plans on expanding weekend breakfast offerings, and will continue to do weekly specials. Wednesday and Friday lunch buffets will be available for $7.99. A crawfish boil is planned to celebrate Mardi Gras, in February or March. The kitchen already sells their own creole seasoning, and hopes to expand to creole sauce, jerk marinade, and remoulade sauce.

Creole Kitchen’s expansion is slated to open by the end of September. Butcher says he couldn’t be happier with the timing, as he expects the start of football season to draw more customers as the weather cools down. The sit-down side will be open 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. on weekdays, and 7:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday. In the meantime, the carryout side will continue to operate at normal times.

For more information, visit www.creolekitchen.biz.

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