Last week, Jen Hidinger and chef Ryan Smith led a tour of the soon to be renovated Staplehouse restaurant and Giving Kitchen space on Edgewood Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward.
The happy occasion was the presentation of a check to The Giving Kitchen for over $38,000 from Sweetwater Brewing and United Distributors, the amount of the proceeds from the sales of Second Helping IPA.
“I really can’t believe it,” Hidinger said when the check was unveiled. “This is so much more than I expected.”
Smith echoed her surprise in a word: “Flabbergasted.”
The bittersweet back story of Staplehouse began when Jen and her late husband, chef Ryan Hidinger, dreamed of opening a restaurant. When Ryan was diagnosed with Stage IV gall bladder cancer, the restaurant community rallied with support and the Giving Kitchen was born as a nonprofit initiative to help other restaurant workers in need.
Ryan Hidinger passed away in January, but in late 2013 he helped create Second Helping with Sweetwater head brewer Nick Knock.
Now, Jen Hidinger, Ryan Smith, and Kara Hidinger (Ryan Hidinger’s sister and Smith’s wife) are on track to open Staplehouse in the next few months. The startup was funded by donations and in turn all the profits from Staplehouse will fund the Giving Kitchen.
Smith explained some of the details of Staplehouse plan, with Giving Kitchen board members Ryan Turner of Muss & Turner’s and Mike Gallagher of Brick Store Pub joining Sweetwater’s Freddy Bensch and Steve Farace on the tour.
The two story brick building features secluded patio and garden areas where a prep kitchen located in an out building will greet quests.
Inside, the open kitchen and dining room will create a communal atmosphere designed for relaxing and sharing.
With a small bar and a chef’s table, Staplehouse will offer about 50 seats, with more seating on the patio.
“We want people to feel very welcome, like they are coming into our house,” Smith said. “We want to create those kind of emotions throughout the whole experience. We want people to feel like they are experiencing the kitchen and that it’s a part of the dining room.”
Sweetwater 420 Flying on Delta
Yesterday, Sweetwater announced that its popular 420 Extra Pale Ale will be available on Delta Airlines flights between Hartsfield-Jackson and LaGuardia airports, beginning April 1.
Sweetwater recently added a canning line and debuted can-conditioned 420 and IPA. Quickly landing its beers on Atlanta-based Delta, which was sorely lacking a craft beer presence, was a cool coup. But a photo of a Delta flight attendant in the brewhouse with Sweetwater head brewer Nick Nock was, well, have a look…
— By Bob Townsend, AJC Food and More blog.