by Susan Ellis
On Saturday, December 10th, Kudzu's will hold a grand re-opening.
Kelly and Jerry King took over the downtown restaurant and watering hole from Steve and Cathy Edmundson back in September.
So what's new?
"We've kept it kind of the same, same vibe," says Jerry, who serves as manager with wife Kelly acting as owner.
There have been changes, though. The Kings bought the building (the Edmundsons rented) and have been making improvements. And the spot, a longtime hangout for journalists, now has wi-fi. There's a new internet jukebox, too, and the draft beer selection has been updated to include Ghost River and craft beers.
The menu has stayed roughly intact. One addition is the Hoosier ($5.03), pork tenderloin breaded and deep-fried.
This tasty eye-popper was imported from Indianapolis, where Jerry owned a bar.
Jerry says the tenderloin sandwich is a staple in the Midwest. "Nobody here knows what they are," he says.
The Healthier Hoosier ($5.03), a grilled version, is also offered.
The fried catfish, the popular Friday lunch special, has been replaced by beer-battered cod. Jerry says this one's always a sell-out, with hardly a peep of protest over the skedaddled catfish. "There have been a couple of people who've complained. Seriously," says Jerry, stressing the number, "a couple."
A recent lunch, which featured the Hoosier — a hit — and a black bean burger done patty-melt style, plus spicy corn nugget appetizers, a blue cheese burger special, a grilled tuna salad and grilled tuna sandwich, drinks, etc., rang in at $42 for five people.
Entertainment-wise, there's still Thursday night's Pickin' Party, and there's a new blues jam on Mondays and trivia night (a concept which Kudzu's introduced to Memphis way back when) has been resurrected. Jerry's hoping to inject some punk rock into the line-up as well.
Saturday's grand re-opening starts at 7 p.m. and features music by Jerry's band Hungover Souls and Gypsy Revival.