Restaurant replacing Lulu’s opens for walk-in service

Bailey Williams, Assistant Summer Editor

Boltwood, a farm-to-table restaurant occupying the space that formerly housed Asian restaurant Lulu’s, opened Tuesday for walk-in service.

“We certainly want to give warm food and hospitality,” Boltwood co-owner John Kim said. “We like to be in our space and cooking for people.”

Kim and co-owner Brian Huston opened their restaurant at 804 Davis St. on June 12 for reservations-only. Five days later, the two opened for walk-in service, which Kim said was good timing with Northwestern’s graduation occurring the same week.

“The first full week has been really good so far,” Kim said.

During the first week, Kim said he observed that most people left the restaurant satisfied, but as with any restaurant, there is a mixture of responses that can only be stabilized over time. Kim added that a lot of people had been waiting for Huston to open the restaurant.

Huston was born in Evanston and formerly served as head chef at The Publican in Chicago at 837 W. Fulton Market.

He often buys food for Boltwood at local markets, including the Downtown Evanston Farmer’s Market, Kim said.

Kim and Huston have strong Evanston ties and plan to stay in the area for a long time, a prospect both owners “take a lot of joy in,” Kim said.

“It definitely gives us a passion for our community,” Kim said.

The menu changes seasonally as some vegetables and other items become available. The kitchen is often able to accommodate customers’ dietary restrictions, Kim said.

Small- to medium-sized meals range from about $5 to $13, while larger protein dishes can range from about $23 to $36, Kim said.

Former Lulu’s owner Daniel Kelch, who currently serves as Huston and Kim’s landlord, will assist the business with advice and support.

“Dan is intimately involved,” Kim said. “He wants to see us succeed just as much as we do.”

Kelch told The Daily in January that losing Lulu’s was bittersweet. After more than 20 years with the restaurant, it became a part of who he was, Kelch said.

After the first week, Kim said there are always ways to improve their business, and that the Boltwood team is “taking it one day at a time.”

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