KRO = Fine-dining skill, casual vibe
The tenet of KRO is really quite simple: even casual food should bring people joy because it's thought-through, tasty, healthy and prepared from carefully selected primary ingredients.
Vojta Václavík, KRO's founder and co-owner, has worked as a chef in fine-dining restaurants in the Czech Republic and Norway. This experience made him realise that he could take the techniques and philosophy learned in high-end kitchens and apply them to a more “everyday” concept, thus making them available to a wider group of people. A few years later, in 2019, the first KRO on Vinohradská Street was born.
KRO = NOSE TO TAIL
Having done all this research to get the best raw materials possible, you treat them accordingly, without any necessary waste. We process the whole chicken, of course - fat and bones and all; the same goes for the vegetables and other ingredients. Most of what we don't use directly in our restaurants gets pickled, dried, sauced, powdered, syruped, fermented… you name it.
Or, our bartenders or prep kitchen have fun with it; what we can't use in the prep kitchen goes into a big composter there. What comes out of it is then returned to the soil in our courtyard garden, creating a full circle. For us, #circularity and #zerowaste are not just trendy buzzwords to be flashed on social media. It's the engine of creativity and the very foundation of our philosophy.
KRO = Cooking from scratch
We make a lot of things on our own in our prep kitchen in Vršovice, from sourdough bread and sweet pastries to kimchi, tempeh and other ferments, syrups, kombucha, spices, sauces or even cream cheese.
Our primary ingredients come from long-standing suppliers who see things the same way we do – chickens from the Druhaz Farm; vegetables and fruit mainly from the farmers' market at Jiřího z Poděbrad square, located literally a few steps from our Vinohrady joint; flour from the stone mill in Krišnův Dvůr or the Pekárek mill in the Highlands; milk from David Kolman in Krasolesí and oat milk from Živina; eggs from Z_louky or Kubát; cheese from Skala's dairy; sausages from Jirka the butcher in Střimelice, or ciders and natural wine from our friends who make them without chemicals...
Working and sourcing like this – with a network of trustworthy suppliers, built on a lot of research, mutual respect, reliability and friendly relationships – should go without saying.
But we do want to emphasise that without these people, we could not do KRO the way we do; the only way we think is the right way.
KRO = THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG?
Well, neither, actually! Our first bistro at JzP initially focused on grilled pork knuckles, but we soon realised that our childhood junk-food staple and first love, the grilled chicken from the once-ubiquitous rotisserie stands, was much more in demand, and the chicken prevailed.
We transformed this childhood nostalgia into a version that's zero compromises and maximum flavour: with quality birds that we marinate overnight in our own mega-umami spice mixture based on fermented onions, hot peppers and herbs, then slow-roasted until golden brown in our rotisserie and served in signature combos, salads and (revisited) classics like chicken in paprika sauce.
KRO = HOSPITALITY AND RESTORATION
In the most literal sense. In harbour towns in Norway, you’ll often find motor inns or small pubs sporting the letters “KRO”, Norwegian for tavern, small inn. Vojta Václavík liked the distinctive, easily recognisable word as a possible name for the bistro concept that was already hatching in his mind, "and when friends told me that it's pronounced the same as crew in English, it was a no-brainer. My youth is linked to my street crew, to my friends who I used to paint graffiti with and get up to all sorts of mischief," he recalls how the experiences from his Strašnice adolescence and Norwegian culinary arts fused together in his dream [krů].
KRO = UMAMI AND JUSTICE FOR ALL
We believe that every guest deserves a great meal and drink, regardless of their dietary preferences or restrictions. We enjoy finding / adding umami anywhere, be it with meat, tempeh or cabbage. (After all, even our eggnog features miso paste.) We give vegetables the same amount of love (if not more) as meat-based dishes, and we treat zero / low ABV drinks with the same respect as the classic alcoholic ones. Not even a lack of time should force you to compromise on your dining experience – our fast casual espresso bar/bakery concepts in Vinohrady (and soon in Vršovice, too) can tame your hunger at any time of the day.
KRO = COMMUNITY
You can't build a great business without a great team – a creed we stand behind 100%. The KRO spirit stems from the effort of all the people who work for it, day in and day out, in the kitchens, the front of the house, the bakery, and the prep kitchen.
It's also thanks to our network of friends, artists, collaborators, and the aforementioned farmers and suppliers - people we love to work with on various pop-ups, collabs and other ideas. All of this creativity and energy fosters an ever-growing organic KRO community, and thus better, more vibrant places that we simply enjoy dining at.