Chef and restaurateur Robert Krause, the Lawrence entrepreneur best-known for the namesake bistro he once operated out of his home and two more conventional restaurants (the wildly popular Burger Stand at the Casbah, and the short-lived Esquina on Massachusetts Street), operates like a Broadway producer. He likes assembling the details of a new project - the concept, the staging, the cast and the crew. But once the show - or, in his case, the restaurant - is up and running, he's ready to move on to a new project.
Since selling Esquina last year (it's now chef Jim Vaughn's Intorno restaurant), Krause has been plotting his next move: an old-school comfort-food venue that will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. He's negotiating to buy a building on Massachusetts Street, and when the deal is complete, he and WheatFields Bakery co-founder Charles Rascoll plan to serve comfort food at a venue called Larry's Kitchen.
"That's what people from Lawrence call this city," says Krause.
Rascoll (who has returned to Lawrence after teaching, for many years at the Culinary Institute of America) still owns an interest in Wheatfields, but Larry's Kitchen won't be serving products from that iconic bakery: "I don't think they'll be able to keep up with our volume," says Krause, who plans to serve freshly-baked biscuits, corn muffins and dinner rolls made in-house.
Krause says he's been talking to several young chefs about working at Larry's Kitchen as partners: "We'll give them a percentage stake at the beginning," he says, "and later, they can buy the restaurant from us."
Krause thinks that Larry's Kitchen will be up and going by this fall. He also envisions his participation in the new restaurant to last about five years. And then, like all good showmen, he'll be off to produce his next project.