FAIRMONT - "It's a lot different," said manager Brandi Lenz, seated in the back area of Kak's restaurant, a recently opened lounge and steakhouse on Albion Avenue in Fairmont. "People are shocked when they come in here."
Before Lenz's grandfather and grandmother - Walt Kakeldey and Lois Lenz - bought the building, it was the Goose Restaurant. It was an old, tired shade of bluish-gray, the interior equally worn.
When Kakeldey bought it last fall, he planned to gut the place inside and out, with hopes to open for business in March. With Kak's not opening until June 30, not everything went according to his original timeline, but he did succeed in creating a completely different look through extensive renovations.
FEEDING FRENZY — Hungry customers fill the dining room Friday evening at Kak’s restaurant in Fairmont. The lounge and steakhouse serves lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.
Bright red and a deep warm shade of brown now color the exterior and interior of the establishment. Walking through the door, customers are greeted by a bartender on their right and several tables. In the back of the restaurant are a dozen more tables and a small fireplace. The bathrooms are small but clean. A small patio offers customers a place to relax outside.
"Everything that's in here has pretty much been done locally," Lenz said.
That includes the food. The restaurant serves fresh meat cut at Welcome Meats, with a menu that includes steaks, prime rib and chicken with "Berchy Trembley's special batter." Apparently the batter came to be known from when the Jolly Inn was open 20-some years ago in Fairmont.
"Grandpa Walt was part of that," Lenz said.
The menu also is full of various seafood fare, and some interesting appetizers, like pickled herring, liverwurst pate, smoked oysters, cheddar crock cheese and cream herring.
"We wanted to do something different," Lenz said regarding the selection of hors d'oeuvres.
In the future, the owners would like to add Greek cuisine to the menu, paying homage to Kakeldey's Greek heritage.
"We want to eventually have a Greek night," Lenz said.
But for the time being, the restaurant is sticking to the basics until the staff and customers make their preferences known.
Kak's is open for lunch and dinner, serving food from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with drinks after supper hour until 1 a.m. Kak's is closed Mondays.