Popular Stella’s franchise owners open up new business
By Kayla Buehler
The Exchange District just got cozier with the opening of Kevin’s Bistro, a restaurant focusing on the best comfort food: mac and cheese.
“Mac and Cheese as we all have come to know is so diverse and people have so many different preferences when it comes to it” said Grant Anderson, owner of Kevin’s Bistro and Stella’s. “We thought we would put some of those preferences on the table as well as some new ideas for people to take a look at.”
Kevin’s Bistro has been open for the past three weeks at 141 Bannatyne Ave., but just put signage up last week. Kevin’s wanted to adjust itself to the new space and a new menu, as it is owned by the popular Winnipeg-based restaurant, Stella’s.
Kevin’s is named after the family’s pet cat who had gone missing in 2012. He was found three years later and reunited with his family in Vancouver before they moved back to Winnipeg to begin their journey of opening a new restaurant. They decided to honour Kevin, like his cousin on his mother’s side, Stella, had done years before.
The space is completely different from that of Stella’s. It is decorated with large mirrors, comfy benches, with large pillows and simple but elegant table settings. It has an open kitchen and seating extends the length of the building. Anderson says the space was the main reason they bought it, but realized with the small size and mechanical challenges of an older building that a new concept would be best for the given space.
The menu contains 11 different kinds of mac and cheese. They range from the traditional, to a blue cheese and beer, a vegan option and even one topped with salt and vinegar chips.
“I wrote a menu based off what I consider to be comfort food and so it’s that dichotomy of comfort food in more of an upscale setting and that was kind of where it was born out of,” said Anderson.
Anderson let his chefs know where he wanted the menu to go and they filled in the gaps, creating fascinating combinations. All the flavours have been very popular since opening.
“It depends on the day,” said Sarah Barbeau, general manager of Kevin’s Bistro. “They are all trending really well.”
Barbeau says she is really pleased with the space and that the community has been fantastic at welcoming them into the area.
“We haven’t branded ourselves yet,” said Barbeau. “Stella’s is its own brand and Kevin’s is something completely different.”
Just two weeks into open, the Wednesday evening crowd had guests having to wait for a table to open up. Kevin’s Bistro is open Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.