KiKi, a new restaurant and cocktail lounge from the owners of Soul Gastrolounge, will open at 5 p.m. on Monday, November 25 in the heart of Plaza Midwood.
It’s located at 1500-A Central Avenue in the spaces formerly occupied by Twenty Two wine bar and art gallery and Alternative Arts Tattoo shop.
Owners Andy and Lesa Kastanas are a dominant force in the neighborhood. Soul Gastrolounge, which they own with partner James Fedele, recently turned 10 years old and remains one of the hottest spots in town.
Not surprisingly, expectations are high for their next venture.
The space is divided into three distinct sections — the main dining room and bar, a pocket rooftop terrace overlooking Central Avenue, and an intimate cocktail lounge called Tattoo.
Interior designer Scott Weaver created opposite but complementary designs for the dining room and lounge — a bright French bistro with punctuations of black for KiKi and a moody, all-back lounge for Tattoo.
Both play on elements of 1930s Art Deco but with the edginess of the glam rock 70s. Think leopard print carpets, black and white striped walls, and vintage mirrors.
The team is proud of the neighborhood and Weaver called them “preservationists”of the spirit of Plaza Midwood. The main dining room has a gallery wall featuring rotating monthly artists as a nod to Twenty Two, the former wine bar and art gallery here. And a statement mirror by “neighborhood OG” Hope Nicholls, who owns Boris+Natasha down the street, hangs in the bathroom hall.
Don’t miss the surprise pop of color in the bathroom or the cozy little two-seat nook under the stairs in Tattoo.
Chef Jason Pound of Soul Gastrolounge will oversee the kitchen at KiKi with a menu of vegetable-forward, French- and Greek-inspired American small plates.
Dishes include stuffed grape leaves, escargot, frogs legs, and lamb neck. The plant-based menu features things like zucchini fritters, ratatouille, stuffed eggplant, and butternut pasta.
Here’s the full KiKi menu:
Soul Beverage Director Kel Minton is overseeing the bar program at all properties with a team of three lead bartenders — Julian Billings at KiKi, Christina Krout at Tattoo and Ivan Artagaviytia at Soul.
Cocktail lounge: Tattoo is a tiny, spirits-only lounge with rotating monthly “studies” on varying expressions of classic cocktails. Minton calls the project “an opportunity to do something really special” and actually got his first tattoo in the former shop here when he was 18. He says he’s been conceptualizing these cocktails for years and, with limited capacity for only 16 guests at a time, will be able to execute on their complexity.
Draft cocktails: The bar in the main dining room features 14 draft cocktails running on a one-of-a-kind custom tap system along with a robust wine program. Here, Minton has designed the menu for volume without sacrificing quality.
Wine: Sommelier Terrell Johnson has a lineup of about 50 French and Greek wines plus bubbles priced anywhere from $14 a glass to $600 a bottle. They’ll be using a Perlage preservation system to allow rare by-the-glass offerings of expensive bottles.
Dinner will be served from 5-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tattoo will serve cocktails from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Follow KiKi on Instagram for more.