Blue Sky Kitchen hopes to attract an after-hours crowd when renovations are completed soon on the Broad Street restaurant.
A revamp of the 990 Broad St. restaurant has been underway for two weeks and includes installation of pool tables, dart boards, a jukebox and eight large flat-screen televisions. By early November, owner Sae Shin expects to expand the downtown establishment from a traditional lunch spot to a casual bar that closes late on weekends and stay opens until 10 p.m. from Monday to Wednesday.
“This has now become known as the bar district section of Broad Street,” Shin said. “A lot of people come bar-hopping at 10 o’clock when we’re shutting down. Now we’re going to stay open until the bars shut down.”
Shin purchased the 2,500-square-foot restaurant in 2011 from original owners Barry Blackston and Matt Flynn, who opened it in 2000. Shin is also a co-owner of two other downtown spots, 1102 Bar & Grill and Soy Noodle House.
After buying Blue Sky Kitchen, Shin retained the same menu but extended the hours for dinner. That worked for about a year and a half, but because of slow business in recent months, Shin had to cut back to serving only lunch.
Shin said he also will change the menu, which includes Cuban, Korean and American dishes, with more casual offerings that cost no more than $10.
About six new employees, including bartenders, will be hired when the restaurant extends its hours, Shin said. Smoking will not be allowed inside Blue Sky Kitchen, he added.
One thing that will remain the same at the restaurant is the name.
“We want to keep the name going,” Shin said. “It’s a landmark.”