The idea for Kick, the spicy-food focused restaurant that soft opened on Monday inside the former Sola space, came from a business model developed three years ago by co-owner Fred Albert for a master's program. Ownership has visions of cloning the concept at other locations, but for now they're focusing they're efforts on launching with their formal opening scheduled for Monday in North Center.
Albert's sister-in-law, Kim Prusa, talked about how passionate spicy food fans are about heat. Kick's goal isn't to burn diners' tongues off, but to provide just enough heat to enhance flavor. Diners won't find ghost peppers on the menu, as Prusa describes the direction as bold, not burning. Overall, Kick wants to be a one-stop shop for spice lovers.
"You don't have to go to a specific restaurant for tastes all over the world," she said. "You can get a global sense of spicy food all in one place."
Ownership thought they would be open earlier, as there was a level a secrecy after ownership purchased Sola earlier this year with their sights set on eventually opening Kick. They didn't want anyone to steal their hot concept. The sense of secrecy extends to the food which will feature a signature spice blend that they'll use in items including their fries. Prusa would not disclose the recipe. She's most impressed with Kick's dry-rubbed chimichurri hangar steak. While some items can be adjusted for spice, some, like the steak, can't be modified. Other items include pepper greens (grilled shrimp, upland cress, arugula, crispy chickpeas, haystack onions, ginger-wasabi vinaigrette) and chicken wings that are dusted with the signature dry rub and come in chipotle barbecue or chile de arbol.
The ownership consists of Prusa and her twin, Kristin Albert, and their husbands, Dave Prusa and the aforementioned Fred Albert. The 4,000-square-foot space is radically different from Sola. They'll also offer carry out and have room for private events. North Center get ready, Kick wants to bring the heat.
Kick, 1943 W. Bryon St., (773) 236-8886, open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Monday to Wednesday; 11 a.m. to midnight on Thursday to Friday; 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.