AMK Kitchen Bar aims to be a "casual neighborhood hot spot" when owner Steven Tsonis opens next month in Bucktown. The American kitchen (even the bricks above the front window are star-spangled) will offer menu items like duck-fat crust chicken pot pie, alongside a variety of bourbons to give diners a vintage concept with a twist.
"I've been wanting to open up a restaurant for a couple years," said Tsonis, who grew up in the restaurant business.
They'll have 70 seats and a retractable garage door inside the space at 1954 W. Armitage Ave. which once housed Rinconcito Sudamericano, a Peruvian restaurant. But Tsonis is aiming for more of an upscale American diner fare, offering weekend brunch, lunch and dinner. The kitchen is inside the bar area, so customers can see how items like Doritos pie, Bourbon BBQ salmon and roasted beet and grilled watermelon salad are prepared. Entrees could range $15 to $22, Tsonis said.
Tsonis has brought in Barney Smith, a former sous chef at Sunda, as AMK's executive chef. A full cocktail, along with more than 50 craft beers, with a focus on local breweries, will be available. Tsonis continued the Americana theme with the emphasis on bourbons and ryes, adding he feels they'll go well with Smith's menu, which will change seasonally. There will be more than 60 whiskies available.
They're still waiting for their liquor license, but plan to open in mid-May. Check out the menu below.