Quickly filling the void that Covington RiverCenter’s Biscuits to Burgers left when it closed suddenly at the end of last year, The Kitchen by Butlers Pantry moved into the space earlier this month, serving up comforting dishes for breakfast, brunch, and lunch.
The casual spot marks the first joint venture by Mitch Arens, former executive chef of Coppin’s at Hotel Covington, and Bouquet Restaurant Chef-Owner Stephen Williams, as part of their new restaurant group Y’all Hospitality. With the end of the holiday season and Biscuits to Burgers closing on December 31, Williams and Arens felt the timing was right to launch The Kitchen the following weekend, giving them only four days to revamp the space.
Wow, we’ve gotta do all this in four days, Williams says he recalls thinking. Fortunately for them, much of the legwork had been done during the prior planning months, and with a fresh coat of paint and a retrained staff, the restaurant was ready to go. Changes weren’t limited to the front of the house, though. Rather than using a “whole lot of frozen stuff,” Williams says, the new restaurant prides itself on being a scratch kitchen.
Goetta balls, flavorful chicken wings, giant burgers, and fluffy pancakes are just some of the options available for brunch, which Arens describes as Southern hospitality mixed with a diner feel. Breakfast and lunch are served all day, with a dinner menu coming soon.
Williams and Arens stock the kitchen with locally sourced items, doing double duty to offer the freshest ingredients while investing in area suppliers. “At the end of the day, local ingredients taste better,” Williams says. “But you’re also supporting the community, building friendships, and it’s a better product.”
“Building the community—it’s just the right thing to do,” Arens adds. “You scratch each other’s backs, help each other out—I think that’s a huge key to building Covington and making it succeed.”
On the drinks front, The Kitchen has a bloody mary bar and serves several local and domestic beers on tap. Looking ahead into warmer months, the restaurant’s spacious patio will host live music.
The Kitchen is open Mon–Fri 7am–6pm, Sat & Sun 8 am–6 pm.
The Kitchen by Butlers Pantry, 50 E. RiverCenter Blvd., Covington, (859) 292-1699