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Small Business Spotlight: Kindred

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Small Business Spotlight: Kindred

The Oak Grove Market owners, including Rick Watson (left) and Chaffraix Rowles (right), opened a restaurant, Kindred, a couple doors down from the market. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

Greater Decatur, GA — A couple doors down from Oak Grove Market, the meat and produce from the market come alive in different ways in various dishes and worldly influences at Kindred.

The owners of Oak Grove Market have been dreaming of opening a restaurant to pair with the market. They were able to find space close by and open Kindred in April.

The market has been open for about 40 years and is primarily a butcher shop, as well as a grocery and retail market. Oak Grove Market also serves breakfast and lunch. They additionally serve meat and sides around the holidays.

Kindred aims to be an extension of the market, be a neighborhood eatery, and also elevate the products sold at the market.

“The whole time we’ve been down at the market, it’s always felt like having a restaurant to pair with it would make a lot of sense,” said Rick Watson, part owner of Oak Grove Market and executive chef at Kindred.

Watson added that it’s been fun to create differing dishes for the market and the restaurant.

“We’ve got an awesome program down there, but there are so many considerations you have to make when you’re preparing food down there for our diner program. It’s got to be able to go in a to-go box, it’s got to be able to sit on the way home and still be lovely, be potentially reheated,” Watson said. “Up here [at Kindred], we can do the total opposite and plate things and put them right out. It’s a lot of fun to be able to create things for each of the different places.”

The owners looked at several locations, and when the space two doors down became available, and it felt like it was meant to be, part owner and operator Chaffraix Rowles said.

“The concept just worked so well with all the meats being butchered by us, by our partners at the market,” she said.

Each day, the steaks are butchered, and the ground beef is ground at Oak Grove Market for the restaurant. The Kindred chefs can essentially shop at the market for the ingredients they would like to use. Sometimes if the market gets in a shipment of an ingredient, like a fish, then the staff comes up with a special for the night using that item.

The cool thing about the menu is a customer could come in multiple times a week and have an entirely different meal.

The dinner menu features plates to share like beet terrine and grilled octopus. The menu also offers a variety of steaks, seafood, and burgers.

“I love that you can keep it really casual and do share plates and have this kind of experience. It’s sort of a build your adventure menu,” Rowles said.

Watson added that the idea is to keep the menu fresh for customers.

“We try to have a good variety because the heart of our customer base is the neighborhood. We have regulars that come a couple of times a week or a couple of times a month, so we don’t want anything getting stale for them,” Watson said.

The owners strive to maintain the community feel of the market in the restaurant and showcase that through the art on the walls and the name of the restaurant. The name was inspired by the term “kindred spirit.”

“We were trying to find a name that tied in with our feeling about the market and the market to us is local in every sense, the community aspect is such a huge part of that place to us and serving the neighborhood,” Rowles said. “We wanted to think of a name and a spirit that embodied that here, but being slightly elevated.”

She added that while the restaurant is named Kindred, the bar program is known as Kindred Spirits.

The walls of the restaurant are painted with a variety of portraits of characters that the owners hope customers can relate to and see themselves in. The art inside was done by the same artist who painted the mural on the side of OGM.

“To us that ties in the art also,” Rowles said. “Each person on the wall is meant to find your kindred spirit. We wanted to do little stories behind them or name drinks after these people. It’s meant to represent all types of people and an everyone-is-welcome-here sort of vibe that we wanted to bring to this neighborhood, and an upscale version of the market is the goal we were going for.”

Every couple of months there is an artist spotlight on the back wall of Kindred where a local artist displays their pieces, and it’s all for sale. It’s another community aspect the owners are trying to bring into Kindred, and making it a neighborhood spot.

When sitting in the restaurant, customers will experience an environment with low lighting and music playing. Each week there are events like a pub night, oyster night, live music and wine tastings.

“I think art, music, those all scream community to me, and it’s the universal language to bring people together, and of course food, drinks and entertainment in general,” Rowles said. “Anybody can enjoy a great meal and listen to great music and be stimulated by the colors and the art on the wall.”

She added, there have been a couple of times when Watson is in the kitchen and Rowles will get him to feel the energy in the restaurant.

“It’s spot on, exactly what I think we wanted with sort of a loungey type of feel, but the music’s just right,” Rowles said. “You can hear the laughter and the buzz of people enjoying [themselves], lots of smiles, the lights are low, the shakers are going at the bar.”

Kindred is open from11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. It is located at 2751 Lavista Road in Decatur.

“I think it really lends well to the restaurant and the concept,” Watson said. “It’s really a place where you see a variety of different people from all over town. It’s been cool to see it come together, kind of the whole feel to the place.”

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