America’s largest grocery chain, Kroger, has opened its first stand-alone restaurant as part of its new hospitality division.
The restaurant, christened Kitchen 1883 – a reference to the year Barney Kroger founded the grocery chain – is located adjacent to one of its stores in Union, Kentucky. It’s led by executive chef Chris Bushelman, and the menu is good ol’ American comfort food.
The full-service eatery also features a bar, whose main attraction is the Kentucky bourbon. The idea is to adapt the restaurant to local consumer demands.
“With Kitchen 1883, our goal is to create a gathering place that offers a genuinely delicious place to relax and experience our food,” said Daniel Hammer, Kroger’s vice president of Culinary Development and New Business, as per a press release. “The restaurant will feature a made-from-scratch menu, hand-crafted cocktails and a community-centered atmosphere.”
Apart from this, the grocery giant is also preparing to open its new culinary training facility in downtown Cincinnati. The centre will be used to train chefs and help existing chefs from around the country share ideas.
The training centre, like the restaurant, comes under the purview of the Hospitality Division, as does the Prep + Pared meal kit line, along with other culinary initiatives outside the deli.
Kroger is America’s largest grocery chain with more than 2,800 locations. The company is testing the waters in the restaurant industry at a time when US shoppers are seeking out prepared foods more than ever before.