Redd Herring general manager to become Talley’s restaurateur
Krista Talley, the general manager of Redd Herring in Clarendon Hills, will be opening her own restaurant June 7 at 31 S. Prospect Ave. | Photos by Chuck Fieldman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2012 11:15AM
Business should be brisk if Krista Talley’s customers end up being half as excited as she is about the restaurant she plans to open June 7 in downtown Clarendon Hills.
Talley’s Kitchen + Bar will take the place of Redd Herring at 31 S. Prospect Ave. Redd Herring, which opened in late 2010, was named for its chef, Roger Herring, a former Western Springs resident who is the chef at Socca, 3301 N. Clark St., Chicago.
Talley, 35, has been general manager of Redd Herring for the past eight months. She has plans to substantially change the menu, and some interior changes to the building will have the storefront closed for 10 days before the June 7 grand opening.
“I’ve been looking for a location to open a restaurant, and they proposed this to me,” Talley said. “This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”
While Talley has culinary training and experience, she sees her biggest strength in the restaurant business closer to the customers than back in the kitchen.
“I love food; I started cooking in the kitchen as a kid with my dad and grandma,” she said. “I’m really a front-of-the-house person, though. I love talking to people and the feeling you get in a restaurant. I’m very positive and outgoing.”
Once Talley was able to make a deal to buy Redd Herring, it didn’t take her long to come up with a new name for her new venture.
“My dad died 10 years ago, and I’ve wanted to open my own restaurant since then,” she said. “A big part of me doing this is for him.”
Talley said she has developed some wonderful relationships with diners who have come to Redd Herring to eat and drink.
“Building relationships with people is very important,” she said. “I want them all to continue coming here and to tell a lot of other people about it. I plan to have great food and a great atmosphere. I want everything to have a ‘wow factor.’”
Developing an identity for Talley’s Kitchen + Bar is a priority, Talley said.
“The food at Redd Herring is very good, but it hasn’t really had a true identity,” she said. “I’ll keep a few of the staple dishes from the menu, but I’m going to do a lot of grilled food, and a lot of fresh food.”
A grilled lamb chop with cherry and mint salsa is one of the new items Talley plans to add to her menu.
“I want to have something for everyone,” she said. “We’ll have more appetizers, and people are welcome to come in for appetizers and not have dinner. I want everything to be ‘craveable.’”
Talley said she also plans to offer live music from 9 p.m. to midnight on Fridays.
Being located in a small town without any major streets going through does make for some business challenges, Talley said. But she’s looking forward to tackling any obstacles that she might face.
“It is a challenge, but I look at that as a challenge, not a problem, and I like challenges,” she said.
“I plan to take advantage of the train with our marketing. We’re very close to the train, and it’s very easy for people to walk over from the train station. I also believe in ‘four walls’ marketing. You get people to come in and have an incredible experience, and then they’ll tell others about it. Everyone will want to check out what they’ve heard so much about. That’s that ‘wow factor.’”