The residential home of Robert Krause’s culinary creativity is closing early next year, as the internationally known chef turns his focus to a new downtown restaurant and other business ventures.
Krause Dining, founded eight years ago inside an expanded dining room at Krause’s home in east Lawrence, will serve its last meals Jan. 11.
Krause and his wife, Molly, just don’t have the time, nor commitment, to keep up with their self-imposed standards for serving seven-course meals at $80 a plate for as many as 30 customers five nights a week.
“It’s the curse of the blessing,” Robert Krause said Tuesday, from his kitchen at 917 Del., from which he serves customers in an addition designed and built by Kansas University architecture professor Dan Rockhill. “All of the great things (happening) and running a business out of here also make it impossible for us to have a life.”
Earlier this month, Robert Krause joined business partners in purchasing the former Round Corner Pharmacy building at 801 Mass., where he plans to open a Latin American-themed restaurant in February. The new open-air restaurant, to be called Fuego, will provide seating for about 100 people and include a bar and wood-fired grill.
Another food “opportunity” could materialize in coming months, he said, leading to the difficult — yet inevitable — decision to close Krause Dining, a business that has enjoyed both a regional following and national praise, including a No. 11 ranking on a list of places to dine in Food & Wine magazine.
It’s also a business that temporarily had been forced out of the Krause home, after city inspectors determined that the restaurant was illegally operating inside a residence. The Krauses had shifted their operation to rented space at 811 N.H. during the hiatus, before gaining the city’s blessing for the in-home operation.
Now the Krauses are ready to move on, once they’ve had the chance to create special menus and wine pairings to bid the operation farewell — and reclaim their house as a home.
“We feel immensely grateful that we have had the opportunity to run a business like this,” he said. “It’s been an amazing ride.”