You can sit down now. And eat on a real plate.
Kelly and Jay Barnes, the Little Chute-based owners of the Kangaroostaurant food truck, have settled into their new Kaukauna restaurant called the Kangaroost. They are in the midst of running test meals on friends this weekend and will be officially open to the public starting Tuesday.
Their new eatery is at 313 Dodge St., the 1883 building that was formerly Plum Hill Cafe. Before this, they shared commercial kitchens, like the one at Riverview Gardens where their food truck is still based.
“It’s been like living out of our car over the last year and a half,” said Kelly.
“Now customers can come in, sit down and have a beer,” said Jay.
They were able to open without conventional loans because they sold 26 CSR memberships, which are community-supported restaurant shares. That helped with move-in costs, equipment and hiring for an expanded staff of 20.
In the era of social media, those who see the business’ Twitter, Facebook and website pages have gotten a play-by-play on the new restaurant’s progress.
For those not into social media, here’s the gist of it: Kangaroost is open 8 to 11 a.m. Tuesday through Friday for coffee and pastries, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for lunch and dinner. On Friday, dinner is extended an hour and includes a fish fry. On weekends, it’s open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for full breakfasts and lunch. The American diner-type menu starts with familiar comfort foods like meatloaf, burgers and hash, but from there has creative or gourmet twists. Prices are slightly higher than a chain because of scratch cooking and higher-quality fresh ingredients. Instead of getting bulk hamburger meat from a distributor at $1 per pound, for example, they get grass-fed beef from the local Venneford Farms at $5 a pound. “Local sourcing is a big deal for us,” said Jay.
More on sources, menus, prices: www.kangaroostaurant.com. 920-766-7662
— Maureen Wallenfang: 920-993-1000, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @wallenfang