As executive chef since 2006 of Celine and Company Catering — which she bought in 2015 — Kim Lloyd has fed tens of thousands of locals, visitors and tourists, often in the business’s 6,000-square-foot street-level event space, On Broadway, in the Broadway Arts Building. “We do everything from weddings to nonprofit galas there, and off-property catering for small dinners in people’s homes to 1,000-person dinners at the civic center,” says Lloyd.
And then came COVID-19, and 13 events booked from March 15 to the end of that month were canceled. Spring events began to reschedule for the fall, and now many of those are rebooking for 2021. Even as restaurants began to devise ways to reboot business, large gatherings, celebrations and corporate meetings remained verboten. “I started to think of ways we could remain relevant and participate in the community,” says Lloyd.
She recalls having lunch outdoors downtown at Mountain Madre Mexican Kitchen & Agave Bar just after Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan was initiated. She observed that tourists were making their way back to the city and people were interested in eating out. She also noticed many closed restaurants. “I knew that as long as there was limited occupancy capacity, there would be a need for more restaurant seats,” she says. “Our large room could easily manage that. Food, hospitality and service are things we understand.”
Lloyd went to work revamping her large downtown event room. She rented 25 palm trees and a slew of tall planters to fill the safely distanced space between linen-draped tables, pulled out her vintage china, glassware and silver, and tasked executive chef Austin Tisdale with writing a menu for The Hideaway on Broadway pop-up restaurant. “This is such a fun opportunity for him to create dishes for guests to order a la carte as opposed to meals for 300 people eating the same thing.”
The Hideaway serves dinner by reservation (or walk-up, based on availability) 4:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday accompanied by live music and Sunday brunch from 11 am – 2:30 p.m. Local craft beers and house wines are available to order there, or diners can tap into an arrangement with Metro Wines to choose a vintage paired to their courses.
“We will have Kim’s weekly menus on hand to reference for pairings,” says Gina Trippi, co-owner of Metro Wines. “People can call ahead, consult with us, make a selection and stop on their way to dinner to pick up their wine. We love being part of her innovative solution to distanced dining.”
Metro Wines and Grapevine Distributors will team up with Lloyd on Thursday, July 23, at 6:30 p.m. for a reservations-required, four-course summer wine dinner. The cost is $68 per person, gratuity not included. Call 828-254-9902 to reserve a safely distanced table.