This Independence Day, Capitol Hill celebrates a pillar of America: farmers-market food carts that grow into walk-up food counters that grow into sit-down restaurants.
Popular E Olive Way walk-up Kedai Makan is lighting off foodie fireworks with its Friday announcement that it will expand into the former La Bete space around the corner on Bellevue Ave.
“This is a game changer for us,” chef and co-owner Kevin Burzell said. “We can finally for the first time, cook; no home stove, no outdoor grills and tents. I’m very excited about cooking some new food. My soul needs it!”
The new Kedai Makan is planned to open on Bellevue Ave by September.
Burzell and Alysson Wilson haven’t said yet what will become of the Kedai walk-up space next to Montana and formerly home to Tacos Gringos but we’re pretty sure a Ramly Burger stand would do well.
Market stand to walk-up to brick and mortar Democracy is alive and well on Capitol Hill. Earlier this week, CHS reported that Little Uncle is preparing to open 24-seat Big Uncle in a microhousing development on the same block as its popular E Madison walk-up.
The expanded space will allow Kedai Makan “to provide seating and a unique bar program to accompany a larger Malaysian menu” while “classics like the popular Nasi Goreng (Malaysian fried rice) and Tau Yew Bak (braised pork belly) will stay on the menu, and new dishes and specials will be introduced.”
“The move is a much anticipated one for the Kedai Makan team, which has been operating out of its food stall on Olive Way since 2013,” the announcement notes. Here’s our visit to the walk-up that December. With its loose integration with neighboring Montana, Kedai Makan has grown into a late-night favorite.
But in its next phase, Kedai Makan will also add some nightlife of its own:
The bar program at the new Kedai Makan will borrow techniques and inspiration from Thailand, featuring a house infused ya dong, a traditional Thai spirit infused with Asian medicinal herbs and roots. Kedai’s ya dong will be served with a chaser of green mango dipped in chili salt, and incorporated into certain cocktails. Ya dong shots and cocktails will range from $5 to $8.
Kedai will now be a bigger component of E Olive Way block’s collection of unique food and drink providers including Montana, Crumble and Flake, Revolver, and Hillside Bar. “Walkable pizza bar” Dino’s Tomato Pie is slated to join the close-knit block by fall. Kedai’s move opens a new phase for the Bellevue Ave restaurant space that was long the home of La Bete — and short the home of Spaghetti Western. Owner Aleks Dimitrijevich said he was looking for a new tenant to take over the lease on the space. In true E Olive Way style, he found the solution on the same block.
The new Kedai Makan is planned to open at 1802 Bellevue Ave by September. You can learn more at kedaimakansea.com.