SPRING VALLEY – The building at S214 McKay Ave. in Spring Valley will soon house a new dining establishment after an extensive five-year remodel.
Todd Gross and Jan Poitra-Gross will host a soft opening for Kindred Table on Saturday, Jan. 7. The restaurant will feature made-fromscratch, American-style bistro dishes. “We don’t want any processed or frozen entrees,” said Gross.
Some notable dishes to look forward to are chicken Marsala, Marry Me Chicken, a Thanksgiving turkey burger, artisan breads, pastas, homemade soups and salads, pizza and steaks.
The couple bought the building, which used to house Deb’s Country Inn, from Deb and John Zimmerman in January 2018. They had stopped down the street at Spring Valley Bakery to get a donut for their son’s teacher and saw the for-sale sign. The minute they stepped through the door, they were hooked.
Gross, who is an engineer at 3M in Menomonie by trade, has spent the last four years lovingly restoring the building. The couple moved to rural Spring Valley in 2015. Gross is originally from the Twin Cities, while Poitra-Gross hails from Great Falls, Mont.
“We found a place in the country and got out of the rat race. This is what I love,” Gross said.
Gross removed three layers of flooring and ceiling from the restaurant’s interior. He built a new front wall and tore the rest down to the studs. The front door has been moved to the side from the center so he could install a handicapped accessible ramp.
“The whole place has been gutted down to the studs,” Gross said. “There was a lot of vermiculite asbestos, so it was a big ordeal to deal with that. We didn’t know that there was asbestos in here. The previous owners sold it as is.”
The newly refurbished space features a homey interior with tile floors, brick and wood accents and a beautiful floral mural. The restaurant will also serve liquor, wine and beer.
As for the name, they kicked around 25-30 names before settling on Kindred Table.
“The only thing we kept from the old place was a round table,” Gross said. “Kindred means family and we want it to be family- friendly, a place where family and friends can come together to enjoy a meal.”
While Gross is an engineer, he worked in the food industry as a busboy in his earlier days. Poitra-Gross served as the dietary manager for the Baldwin Care Center for seven years.
“She can really throw ingredients together and have really flavorful food,” Gross said. “I’m on the business side and the construction side of things.”
Gross has enjoyed remodeling the space and developing processes for the restaurant’s operation. He’s also spent time researching how to write employee handbooks, manage tax payments and filings and implement payroll.
To start, the restaurant will be open 3-9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekends. The hope is to extend hours down the road.
“I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from the community,” Gross said. “Everyone has been very open and warm. A lot of people have reached out. It’s nice to see the good vibe from the community.”
To learn more, follow Kindred Table on Facebook.