For FriendsEAT’s Restaurant Spotlight today, we interviewed Kieran Rodgers, the general manager of Studio Kraut Bohemian Bar & Kitchen in New York, to learn more about the food, concept, and business philosophy at their restaurant.
FriendsEAT: Tell us a little something about your restaurant.
Kieran Rodgers: Smack in the middle of Chelsea, Studio Kraut offers a unique and fun “Art meets Dining Experience.” We decided to raise the stakes and offer more than you would usually find in a “normal” establishment. We transformed our 175 seat restaurant so that it doubles as a Street Art Gallery with influences from East Berlin and New York City using renowned graffiti artists. Studio Kraut’s interior and exterior décor featuring permanent art work by Russell King, SacSix, Hek Tad, Qwue Molly and Damien Mitchell (just to name a few.) Also, our windows display local artists with pieces to purchase that we change up monthly. The food & cocktail menus take advantage of the one of kind décor and shake things up with great snack options such as Giant Pretzels and Sliders ideal for a casual Happy hour or larger standout crowd favorites Chicken Schnitzel and Vegetarian Garten Burger. We feature a stunning custom communal table that seats 30 people ideal which is ideal for larger groups and we also have an outdoor café that surrounds the restaurant perfect for dinner and cocktails as you people watch. It is really cool to see our guests interacting with the art as well as enjoying their food & drink. Keeping with the eclectic vibe we added a stage to the dining room that you will find is dressed as a bed offering cocktails and food when there isn’t a performance for those guests who prefer to lounge around rather than sit in a chair. Every Thursday night, we host an incredibly fun weekly live burlesque show, Color Me Frech, at 10pm. It is NOT to be missed!
FE: What is your restaurant philosophy? Is there something that everyone strives for with each action taken at your restaurant?
Kieran: At Studio Kraut, we strive to create a fun & approachable vibe with stand-out food and drink experience that has options for everyone. So whether it’s a quick drink at the bar, a large group gathering or a special Dinner or Brunch with friends, we strive to accommodate all types of occasions and we want to enhance the experience with the friendly and knowledgeable staff , cool art work and great food and cocktails. I’m someone who likes to dine out and when I do I always try to see how much fun the staff is having, the management team and myself really try to keep it down to earth with a fun service atmosphere but still delivering great quality products with fresh service and creating a memorable experience.
FE: What makes you stand out above the rest?
Kieran: In my entire career in hospitality, I am the most proud of Studio Kraut thus far. It’s so much more than your “average” neighborhood place. We have created a space that infuses so many different entertaining aspects that it really does appeal to all types of diners no matter the occasion. Also, getting to know these incredible artists has opened up a whole other facet of dining that never occurred to me in the past; it’s been about bringing the whole community together. Specialty cocktails and a food menu that ranges from small snacks to full entrees have been crafted to heighten the overall décor and make the experience something you will remember and frequent again whatever the occasion may be.
FE: What is your most popular dish? Why do people love it?
Kieran: The Chicken Schnitzel is a huge crowd favorite, its breaded chicken crisped to a golden brown, placed on a bed of haricot verts, peppercorn mashed potatoes with a dill cream sauce and just when you think that’s enough they slap a sunny side egg on top. It is so popular we added it to the brunch menu because we would receive requests for it all weekend. It’s the right amount of indulgence without putting you in a food coma. My personal favorite would have to be the breakfast pizza served on the brunch menu it’s a tomato flatbread with a scallion hollandaise, avocado, aged cheddar and kielbasa topped with a sunny side up egg. I look forward to the weekend just so I can order it.
FE: And what is the one cocktail your bartender loves to make?
Kieran: We have a cocktail using Fernet Branca called the “Biten Biten.” It’s Bulleit Rye, vanilla infusion, Fernet Branca, lavender bitters, topped with root beer and garnished with coca cola gummy bottles. It’s off the charts and more adventurous cocktail drinkers who order it are never disappointed. The standard go to drink the bartenders usually recommend to someone not so adventurous would have to be our “Graffiti Rocks” drink. It’s ideal for the summer with Effen Cucumber Vodka, fresh lime juice topped with Prosecco and a cucumber slice. Its summer in a glass and drinks like a lemonade but be careful as it packs a punch.
FE: Do you offer any deals such as happy hour specials, brunches, etc?
Kieran: We run a Happy Hour menu Sunday and Monday 4pm – 7pm and then Tuesday through Friday 12pm – 7pm (yes, 12pm – 7pm) it’s a steal with $5 beers, $6 house liquors, $7 wines and $8 frozen margaritas. It’s available anywhere in the restaurant because sometimes you don’t want to be cramped at the bar so we figured why not! Grab a table and catch up with friends. There is a snack menu available with things like sliders and truffle fries for people who want a nibble and of course the rest of the menu is available. Brunch is of course a huge part of the week running Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 4pm, we offer the option of unlimited drinks for $19 (1.5 hours) where you can switch it up between Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, Screwdrivers and just to be even more ridiculous vodka drinks (vodka sodas etc.) It’s always a fun atmosphere with lively music to help you relax, have fun and let us take care of you!
Studio Kraut Bohemian Bar & Kitchen is located at 160 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Nearby Landmarks: Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital, Nail Spa & Beyond, Liberty High School Academy for Newcomers, and Amorino
Phone Number: (646) 449-8150
Hours of Operation:
- Monday 04:00PM – 11:00PM
- Tue – Thu 12:00PM – 11:00PM
- Friday 12:00PM – 12:00AM
- Saturday 11:00AM – 12:00AM
- Sunday 11:00AM – 10:00PM
Dining Style: Casual
Cuisine Type: German x American Fusion
Dress Code: Casual
Price Range: $8 – $24
Payment Options: All regular payment modes accepted