While the appearance and atmosphere of Capitol City CORK & Provisions looks and feels the same, the new owners are bringing their own talents and experiences to the table to add new flair to the downtown Jefferson City business.
Partners Cara Alexander, Adam Stark, and Mark and Sherri Russell reopened Capitol City CORK & Provisions on Oct. 11. The restaurant at 124 E. High St. serves various soups, salads, sandwiches, desserts and alcoholic drinks.
Jami Wade opened Capitol City CORK & Provisions in 2011 but sold it earlier this summer.
While Stark has been in the restaurant business for a decade, Alexander worked at CORK for about five years. She said the job spurred their dream to open a restaurant.
"I love the atmosphere and the people who come in, and I love it's a restaurant where you know people's names and faces," she said. "I would always joke around with Adam and my parents and say, 'Someday I would eventually like to own a restaurant exactly like CORK.'"
That day arrived sooner than the young, recently engaged couple anticipated. Alexander and the Russells have known each other for years, so when the opportunity came along, the new partners agreed it was meant to be.
This is the Russells' first time in the restaurant business, but they have owned businesses previously, Mark said.
The partners bring their own individual skills, Alexander said — she offers the "charm and dazzle," Stark ensures the restaurant runs efficiently, and the Russells help create the menu and make certain the business appeals to all ages.
"It was really kind of bringing two different generations together to, for me, keep this business moving forward in what I think is such a vibrant, growing part of Jefferson City," Mark Russell said.
The partners plan to keep the classic CORK feel but add some new features to the restaurant.
One new addition is that the food will be sourced locally. For example, winter is an excellent time to source local meats, Mark Russell said, while items like sweet corn and some herbs are best in the summertime.
Dinner, which is served 5-10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, has several entrees containing locally sourced beef, pork and lamb, as well as a Missouri cheese board, Alexander said.
The dishes are also made-to-order, so it's usually easy for staff to accommodate varying diets, including gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian, Alexander added.
Along with a seasonal menu and in-house food preparation, CORK now offers lunch and brunch menus.
Lunch is served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and features different soups, salads and sandwiches.
While brunch is currently 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sundays, the partners plan to expand it to Saturdays. Brunch currently features culturally focused dishes, a Bloody Mary bar and bottomless mimosas, Alexander said.
"Jeff City is so blessed to have so many great breakfast places and new coffee shops coming in that are doing some really fun things, but to have a really traditional brunch environment where people can come in and make your own Bloody Marys and have this Instagram-able food is really something new to Jeff City that we're excited to offer," Alexander said.
The partners also have a more extensive wine list and a new beer list, Stark said.
With Capitol City Cinema next door, Alexander said she wants to form a collaboration with the business, such as creating a special menu for cinema showings or hosting dinner theater events.
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