DALLAS — There was a sense of excitement at the corner of Elm Street and N. Harwood in Dallas on Friday night. The staff inside TRUE Kitchen & Kocktails was eager, as their first group of guests began to arrive.
The restaurant, situated in the heart of downtown and next to Majestic Theater, is already creating quite the buzz.
"I just love my city. I love the people in this city,” said restaurant owner Kevin Kelley. “Everybody who likes good food is going to want to come to TRUE.
TRUE Kitchen & Kocktails is located at 1933 Elm Street. It’s a place where the owner says you’ll find southern comfort foods with an elevated twist.
"First and foremost the food is the star. The food here is fantastic,” Kelley said.
Foods like fried, grilled, jerk, or smothered chicken are on the menu. Options may be paired with waffles – like banana pudding waffles, peach cobbler waffles, and pecan pie waffles. You’ll also find dishes, including jerk-infused oxtails and much more.
"I’ve always wanted to own my own restaurant. I wanted to develop a clean brand, a confident brand. One that’s sexy and one that has a good vibe,” Kelley said.
The TRUE vibe is creative and eclectic. The entrepreneur says a bevy of cocktail creations will excite guests. Kelley said the staff’s mission is to serve good food, but also give a show.
TRUE Kitchen and Kocktails’ grand opening comes during an interesting time. COVID-19 forced some businesses to shut down, and restaurants are operating at 50% capacity due to the pandemic.
Kelley said he and his team are focused on what they can control.
He owns the space where the restaurant opened and invested seven-figures into getting the building and design right for guests. The restaurateur believes Downtown Dallas is ripe for opportunity, with new development and new amenities expanding nearby.
"It’s no different than the market,” Kelley said. “These things are cyclical. We’re going to have bad times in life. We’re going to have good times in life too. We have to have a growth mindset and we have to seek the opportunity, rather than pitfalls before us.”
The truth is the word about TRUE Kitchen & Kocktails is spreading fast. Reservations for weekend brunch and dinner are already booked for the next two weeks.
Kelley said UberEats will also begin delivering menu items from TRUE Kitchen & Kocktails beginning Tuesday, August 25.