Tucked next to On Deck Clothing and Lure in Sister Bay is a little concrete building with metal chairs and tables out front and purple and green origami cranes in the windows.
“My last name is Crain,” said Crain’s Kitchen owner Andy Crain. “That’s where the paper cranes came from.”
Inside, there’s a cute walk-up counter with an open kitchen behind it, lit up by the bright window near the front door, and the decorated concrete with subtle touches of purple and green give it a fresh feeling. When I stopped in, the atmosphere was instantly friendly, with jazz and Frank Sinatra covers playing over the speakers.
The restaurant has been open for only about two months, Crain said, so his crew is still getting its feet wet. But you wouldn’t know that from stopping in. The man ahead of me ordered lunch for his whole family, and my food, which had gluten-free biscuits that had to be started when I ordered them, was still out in fewer than 15 minutes.
Crain’s Kitchen offers to-go and dine-in options, and it has both indoor and outdoor seating for dining in. Decorated with little plants in terra-cotta pots, it’s a cozy place to grab lunch on your way to somewhere else, or to sit down, relax and chat for a while.
The menu offers soup, sandwiches, salads and desserts and has a definite robust Southwest flavor that Crain said he and his wife picked up when they lived in Denver for 25 years. The restaurant has vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options (the sweet-potato biscuits were incredible), and the seasonal fruit desserts currently feature Door County cherries.
Crain’s Kitchen is open for lunch and dinner and has some alcoholic beverages for sale to accompany meals. Crain said he plans to stay open year-round, but the hours may be reduced later in the year.
“The restaurant allows me to do what I love,” Crain said. “Cook the best food you have ever tasted.”
Crain’s Kitchen, 10635 N. Bay Shore Dr. in Sister Bay, is open Wednesday and Thursday, 11 am – 6 pm; Friday and Saturday, 11 am – 8 pm; and Sunday, 11 am – 4 pm.