Trend Watch: Restaurants in Homes

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Two years ago, I moved to the wonderful town of Lawrence, Kansas. Perhaps it’s because it’s a college town or maybe it’s its deeper history as a hotbed of radical abolitionists back in the day, but Lawrence is a town brimming with ideas and creativity and energy.

In the first year of living here, I spotted something I hadn’t come across elsewhere: restaurants in peoples’ homes!

There were two such establishments here at that time: Krause Dining and Cafe Beautiful. Krause Dining has since closed (though the owners opened two restaurant restaurants in its wake) and I believe Cafe Beautiful is still in operation in the chef’s apartment (which was formerly the apartment of Wilt Chamberlain when he played basketball for the University of Kansas).

The former served upscale American cuisine at its finest, with six-course dinners costing something in the neighborhood of $100 a plate. They had special community nights where you were seated communaly and paid something like $40 per person. The home in which the Kraus Dining Room operated was an old and cozy house with a highly contemporary addition. The latter is in an apartment located above the shops of downtown’s Mass. Street. Asian fusion meals are homecooked for only a few diners per evening. Reservations must be made well in advance to allow the chef to shop for and prepare your meal.

Witnessing two such restaurants operated out of homes has me wondering if you have spotted this trend in other locales. How about it? Does your town or city have a few hidden gems of small-scale restaurants operating out of homes? More often than not, these are truly wonderful finds that are worth sharing – please do so in the comments below!