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Niche alumni Adam Altnether and Chris Kelling to open Elmwood in Maplewood

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The team behind Elmwood, opening next year in Maplewood: Adam Altnether (left) and Chris Kelling. Handout photo by Spencer Pernikoff.

Elmwood, a new restaurant from chef Adam Altnether and front-of-house professional Chris Kelling, will open in Maplewood next year. Its address at 2704 Sutton Boulevard will be a subdivided part of the space at the corner of Sutton and Manchester Road that most recently held the Live Juke Joint Dueling Piano Bar.

Elmwood is a reunion of two alumni of Gerard Craft's Niche Food Group. Altnether was the chef de cuisine of Craft's flagship Niche at the age of 22 and worked throughout the group's restaurants. When he departed the group in 2015, he was its corporate chef. Most recently, he was a sous chef for the Cardinals.

Kelling was the general manager of Niche and its successor, Sardella. He also spent two years at the Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena, Calif., which among its many accolades holds 3 Michelin stars.

Kelling describes Elmwood as an “elevated neighborhood restaurant.”

“We want to be part of Maplewood,” Kelling tells Off the Menu. “We (also) want to be an occasion place. We want you to feel comfortable grabbing a burger or planning an anniversary, birthday, etc. celebration.”

Kelling calls Elmwood's cuisine “Modern American,” though he says, “That describes more a style than a cuisine.”

The kitchen will feature an open-hearth oven. Kelling says the menu will include a burger, shareable plates and ingredients from the local farmers he and Altnether came to know from their work at Niche.

A Maplewood resident, Kelling says the Sutton location was “a prime target” for Altnether and him.

“It's got a good energy,” Kelling says of Maplewood. “It's got great walking traffic in the neighborhood. There's a real sense of community, with the city planning numerous events throughout the year and everyone really embracing it.”

Elmwood will occupy roughly 3,500 square feet of a 5,500-square-foot space. Kelling says they are aiming to open in late spring or early summer.

“There's a lot of work to be done,” Kelling says. The work includes installing a new storefront facing Sutton.

“We're just really excited,” Kelling says. “I'm excited to have Adam in front of people again.”

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