Kachka opened in April 2014, and in the past two-and-a-half years, it’s made the Eater National 38 and was nominated one of Bon Appetit’s best new restaurants of 2015. Now owners Bonnie and Israel Morales are moving the restaurant to a new home, eight blocks away, at 960 SE 11th Ave. The Moraleses plan to transform the original Kachka venue into a more casual Russian spot — name TBD.
“When we were planning Kachka in 2013,” says chef Bonnie, “my goal was to introduce as many people as possible to Russian food. Now there’s interest growing, and I want to share the Russian style of dining.”
The new Kachka won’t actually be that much larger than the original, only adding about 20 seats in the dining room, but what it will have is key to the Moraleses’ decision to relocate: a private dining space, potentially catering to groups of 30 or more.
“One of the ways I really want people to experience Kachka is in a large dinner party,” says Bonnie. When guests arrive, the tables in the private dining room will be set with Kachka’s “Ruskie zakuski,” a parade of smoked and pickled appetizers and Russian classics meant to be shared. Vodka will flow. Toasts will be hoisted.
The Moraleses say this focus on Russian-style service will extend to the entire restaurant, and they tell Eater they’ll also expand the menu. Prepare for a broader focus on dishes from Russia and its bordering countries and, for the first time, lunch. The front of the new Kachka will house a deli, serving grab-and-go and sit-down options during lunch hours, as well as selling hard-to-find Russian foods and Kachka’s own brand of vodka.
For dinner, the menu will be a mix of familiar and new Kachka dishes, including an expanded section dedicated to plates from the mangal grill, a traditional Russian charcoal grill, like whole trout and lamb marinated in pomegranate. Bonnie says she’s been able to customize many of aspects of the kitchen, too, since the building is still under construction and the Killian Pacific group has welcomed collaboration.
Kachka is aiming to open at its new location, in a more residential neighborhood, with more parking and patio seating, summer 2017. The original Kachka will maintain regular hours in the meantime.