Kensington is landing a new bar. Cook and Shaker is replacing the Chug a Mug bar at 2301 E. Albert Street (corner of Tulip and Albert). The spot is from Laura Viegas , a restaurant vet with experience at White Dog Cafe, Farmacia and Bisro 7 Viegas has worked as a chef and a baker and will focus on providing scratch-made, freshly prepared cooking. During the buildup, Viegas was adamant about not including a walk-in fridge, ensuring that fresh will be the mantra.
Cook and Shaker will be open seven days a week with the kitchen serving from 3 p.m. to midnight on weekdays and beginning at noon on weekends. The menu of sandwiches and entrees will top out at $15 and will include vegan and vegetarian options. Menu highlights which will feature ingredients from Greensgrow and Green Meadow farms, will include:
- Buffalo Fried Brussels Sprouts with house-made bleu cheese dressing
- Watermelon Salad with feta, red onion and basil
- Veggie Sandwich with tomatoes, carrots, roasted peppers, breaded eggplant and spinach in an herb vinaigrette, with goat cheese and tomato-onion jam, on baguette
- The Stack Sandwich, fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese and bacon on country white bread
- Bangers and Mash, grilled local lamb sausage over mashed potatoes
- Grilled Shrimp with summer vegetables over ginger steamed rice
Beverages will also be local. Expect the eight taps to always feature at least one cider and beers from area breweries. As the name and logo suggest, Cook and Shaker will offer a tight list of cocktails and even mocktails. The list of six to eight drinks will be prepared using fresh juices, squeezed in-house, rather than with syrups or frozen purees. Look for cocktails like:
- Thai Basil-Peach Lemonade
- Raspberry Beer Cocktail
- Low Country Lemonade
- Strawberry Mojito
- Watermelon-Cucumber Fizz
Drinks will range from $8 to $10 and affordable wines by the glass will also be available.
Viegas aims for the space to be welcoming, the kind where "nobody will mind if you’re singing off-key.” Look for hardwood floors, exposed brick, reclaimed wood-paneled walls, copper ceiling and autumnal colors.
Viegas is aiming to Cook and Shaker open this fall.