Chef Marc Krampe heats up the kitchen in new Johnston Street venture
By Leslie Turk
July 26, 2012
Southern Hospitality Kitchens, the parent company of Charley G’s, is developing a new concept for the former Canton City Inn spot on Johnston Street next to La Fonda.
About seven months ago, longtime Lafayette restaurateur Charlie Goodson teamed up with chef Marc Krampe, whose family owns the local McDonald’s franchise, and Jody Ferguson, owner of Casa Olé Acadiana, to form Southern Hospitality Kitchens. Krampe and Ferguson are brothers in law.
The venture added a new generation of ownership to the 27-year-old Ambassador Caffery restaurant; additionally, Goodson’s two daughters, Claire and Anna, stayed on board along with chef Holly Goetting and General Manager Courtney Vincent.
Southern Hospitality Kitchens was formed to pursue projects like cookbooks and new dining concepts. Charlie Goodson and Ferguson tell ABiz they hope to open the new location in December for private functions — giving them an opportunity to perfect the concept while taking advantage of the holiday rush — and be operating as a restaurant in January. “It’ll be a casual-themed, chef-driven concept,” Goodson says, noting that Krampe will be the chef, with Goetting and Vincent assisting in training the new staff.
Goodson was not willing to disclose any additional information at this time, though word on the street is the new venture will be some type of gastropub, a trendy overhaul of the traditional English pub — a casual, “everybody knows your name” kind of place serving high quality food. Downtown’s Jefferson Street Pub has just rolled out its own gastropub concept, offering British-oriented specialties like shepherd’s pie and fish and chips among its menu items (see “On the Menu” in this month’s Turk File).
“It’s too early [to discuss the concept],” Goodson says. “We’re still changing as we go.”
In late June Southern Hospitality Kitchens signed the lease on the 2,500-square-foot building, which is owned by Lafayette businessman Preston Guidry.