EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute has found a permanent home. Look for the nonprofit/restaurant to open this fall in the former Grotto space at Shaker Square.
EDWINS, the passion project of Brandon Chrostowski, is a program designed to give underprivileged and formerly incarcerated adults training in the hospitality field, while providing additional support in other aspects of community reentry.
Chrostowski says that the space is ideal thanks to its proximity to public transportation, layout and design. The lower level is ideal for classroom instruction while the kitchen and dining rooms need little in the way of conversion.
The program, based on the curriculum of the Culinary Institute of America, teaches students all aspects of the hospitality industry. Every three weeks, a new class of eight students joins the ranks to learn nutrition, culinary math, knife skills, mother sauces, menu planning, and restaurant management.
The student-fueled EDWINS restaurant "Should look and feel just like any other restaurant to the diner," explains Chrostowski. "I'll manage that restaurant to the same level if not higher than any other during my entire career."
Hired staff like a chef and other managers will keep the restaurant humming like any other.
Chrostowski says that his organization's prospects benefit where others might not because of the nonprofit's unique situation.
"We're fortunate that we can attract those from the community who will support what we are doing, the foodie who enjoys good food, the philanthropist who wants to feel good and donate, or just dine and donate," he says.
Chrostowski says the restaurant's theme — both in food and décor — will be Industrial French. "Think Les Mis: Revolutionary, broken down, but sexy."
EDWINS will be open six days a week for dinner, with lunch being added a few months down the road. Look for a late September opening.
Meanwhile, Chrostowski is just thrilled to be at this point in his plans.
"It would take me a day to thank all the people who have helped us get to this point."
Photo by Bob Perkoski