Baton Rouge-based Kolache Kitchen, a homegrown quick-serve restaurant with a menu of kolaches, breakfast tacos and sandwiches, is expanding again—opening its fourth location Tuesday in the heart of New Orleans’ Central Business District.
The new restaurant, on Carondelet Street just two blocks from Canal Street, is Kolache Kitchen’s second New Orleans location and comes exactly one year after it opened an Uptown New Orleans location on trendy Freret Street.
Kolache Kitchen also has two Baton Rouge locations—its flagship shop on Nicholson Drive near LSU and its second location on Jefferson Highway.
Owner Will Edwards, who launched the concept in 2013 when just 25 years old, says the downtown New Orleans location has been in the works for more than a year.
“Actually, I signed the lease for downtown before we even opened Freret Street last year because the opportunity presented itself and was too good to pass up,” he says. “When that space became available I knew we had to jump on it.”
The New Orleans CBD, bordered by Canal and Poydras Streets, Tulane Avenue and the Mississippi River, is home to office buildings and nearly 20 hotels, which have been redeveloped in older office buildings over the past two decades.
“Within two blocks, we’re surrounded by 12 hotels, Place St. Charles and One Shell Square (which is now the Hancock Whitney tower),” he says. “And there’s really a lack of quick-serve breakfast restaurants in that area.”
Edwards says slow and steady growth have been his goals in the seven years since opening a restaurant concept that some in the Deep South—where the kolache, a traditional Czech filled pastry, is little known—would have given dubious odds of succeeding.
“People still come in after seven years and say, ‘what is a kolache?’” he says. “But it’s not really a hard sell because most people like meat and cheese bread.”
Edwards continues to eye new locations and is interested next in expanding to Denham Springs or Prairieville. He’d also like to franchise the concept one day, though for now his focus is on managing the four locations he now has in two cities.