Liberty Street Kitchen offers sneak peek of progress

Photo by Emily Hawk/Pella ChronicleGeneral Manager Jake Warner (left) and Marketing Director of Orchestrate Hospitality Adam Bartelt (right) discussed the development progress of Liberty Street Kitchen on Thursday.

The highly anticipated Liberty Street Kitchen gave the Pella Chronicle a sneak peek of the restaurant’s progress before opening in August.

Whether you’re in the mood to have a cocktail with close friends, indulge yourself with comfort food, host a rehearsal dinner or hold a business meeting, the restaurant aims to be a comfortable space for everyone to enjoy, no matter the occasion. It will offer internationally inspired cuisine with a local focus, including a few dishes that commemorate Dutch culture and the city of Pella.

Chef George Formaro created a menu that will focus on a range of refined salads, soups, sandwiches, hearty entrees and decadent desserts alongside signature cocktails, craft beer and wine. The menu will also feature vegan options, brunch on the weekends and catering services.

“One of the biggest things with Orchestrate and our family of brands is we really like to offer guests as much of a tiered experience as possible,” said Marketing Director of Orchestrate Hospitality Adam Bartelt. “Whether you’re here having an appetizer and a drink, or just getting a salad, or if you wanted to have a filet mignon — no matter what kind of experience you’re looking for, there’s something on the menu for everybody.”

The restaurant will include a contemporary bar, cozy fireplace, a patio, lounge area, a spacious dining area and a designated space for larger parties and business meetings. Modern accents and light, neutral colors create a relaxing, mellow ambiance. Large windows provide ample, natural lighting throughout the restaurant.

Founded by Paul Rottenberg, Orchestrate Hospitality has developed some of Des Moines’ best-known restaurants, including Zombie Burger + Drink Lab, Django, Centro and Malo. Chef Formaro, a six-time James Beard Award nominee, partnered with Rottenberg in 2000. Over the past decade, the duo has changed the face of dining in Des Moines. Now, they plan to develop a memorable dining experience for the city of Pella.

“The goal for Liberty Street Kitchen is to be that neighborhood gathering spot,” said Bartelt. “We try to be the place that you can come with a group of friends and feel comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt or a business suit. Let us take care of the details.”

The restaurant will be managed by Jake Warner, who has had extensive experience managing high-volume restaurants and bars in Madison, Wisconsin, downtown Chicago and the Philadelphia area. Warner is a Des Moines native and attended Iowa State University as an undergrad.

The company is still looking to hire servers, bartenders, hosts, bussers, dishwashers, line cooks and prep cooks before opening their doors to the public. Warner and Bartelt will be holding open interviews Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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