Dining With Denise Neil

The Kitchen could open in three weeks at Union Station

The signs for Natasha Gandhi-Rue’s restaurant The Kitchen went up at Union Station this week. She says she’s about three weeks from ready to open.
The signs for Natasha Gandhi-Rue’s restaurant The Kitchen went up at Union Station this week. She says she’s about three weeks from ready to open. The Wichita Eagle

The Kitchen is coming along.

In June, Natasha Gandhi-Rue announced plans to open a new restaurant at 725 E. Douglas in the downtown space that held the original Tanya’s Soup Kitchen. Opening day could be in about three weeks, she said.

This week, attractive black and white signs boasting the restaurant’s chef knife logo have gone up around Union Station. Construction workers are busy hammering away on the building, which will have an open-concept kitchen and will serve seasonal, farm-to-table dishes. The Kitchen’s social media accounts and website are all set up, and Gandhi-Rue is in the process of interviewing and hiring staff.

She’s also putting the finishing touches on the menu, which will include a selection of stock items like a burger, steaks, salads and chicken dishes along with a variety of seasonal specials.

“The whole idea behind The Kitchen is that I want it to be about seasonal, fresh food, and I also want it to have a level of creativity,” she said.

Gandhi-Rue is a graduate of New York City’s French Culinary Institute (now called the International Culinary Center) and a former culinary manager for Williams-Sonoma. The space, which was most recently a Cox Communications costumer service store, was the first home of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, operating there from 1997 to 2004.

Gandhi-Rue, who is opening the restaurant with her contractor husband Scott Rue, said The Kitchen will have quick-service lunch items, a full bar, a happy hour and table service in the evenings. She’s also planning to make full take-home meals available, and she’ll have online ordering, too.

Stay tuned for updates on the opening day.

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