After 10 years of marriage and three children, Thad and Jessica Kittrell are back where they met.
The Kittrells met while working at a Columbus restaurant and this week opened their own place, 101 Beer Kitchen, at 7509 Sawmill Road.
The Capital Club introduced the couple where Jessica was a server and Thad was a chef and beverage manager.
“We worked there for a while,” Mrs. Kittrell said, “pretty much since then we knew we wanted to open a restaurant.”
Opening 101 Beer Kitchen has been a dream of the Kittrells for about three years. The Muirfield residents spent a lot of time working on financing and searching for a location.
“When we came across this opportunity, it was perfect because it’s in our community,” Mrs. Kittrell said of the location. “We live here, our kids go to school here and our friends are here.”
Turning the former Hoggy’s location into 101 Beer Kitchen has been a balancing act with two full-time jobs and three children.
Mr. Kittrell recently quit his job at Brio, but Mrs. Kittrell still works in finance at Abercrombie and Fitch.
The theme of the restaurant – rustic food and craft beer – comes from the Kittrells' every day life.
When the couple started home brewing three years ago, the concept for 101 Beer Kitchen was born.
“We feel in love with brewing,” Mrs. Kittrell said. “Thad loves the chemistry part. We have a real passion for good food and good beer.”
As for the rustic food, which Mrs. Kittrell defined as a “fresh, seasonal, scratch-made take of pub food,” it’s what the Kittrells eat at home.
“It’s just how we live our lives,” Mr. Kittrell said. “It’s how we eat at home.”
Mr. Kittrell, who has been in the restaurant business 27 years and spent the last nine as a chef with Brio, is in charge of the food side of the business.
The restaurant will have a seasonal menu featuring as many local items as possible.
Classic pub food will be on the menu, with a twist, Mr. Kittrell said, noting pork croutons, deviled eggs with prosciutto and red and green chili will be among the offerings.
“I focus on high-quality ingredients,” he said. “I wanted to use regional products as much as we can but trying not to sacrifice the price point.”
“We want families to come in,” Mrs. Kittrell added.
As for the beer list, customers will have 101 to choose from. The restaurant has 20 craft beers on tap and 81 bottles. Seasonal brews will be offered and draft items will rotate.
“It’s been exciting working with purveyors,” Mr. Kittrell said. “They don’t often get to work with people who switch things out.
“There will be beer from recognizable breweries, but it won’t be recognizable beer,” he said.
The 101 beer offerings, however, are not where the name of the restaurant came from.
“101 represents our anniversary,” Mrs. Kittrell said. “We just happen to be opening on 10-1.”
For more information about the new Dublin restaurant, look online at 101beerkitchen.com.