“I’m going to be visible in the restaurant, and try to spend as much of the time as I can there,” Durant said at the Oct. 30 groundbreaking. “If somebody has a complaint, I’m going to try to go back in the kitchen and help them fix it up.”
Durant is not the first celebrity to own a restaurant — he owns 25 percent of KD’s — but he may be one of the few who plans to actually be there often, and to make it a regular hangout for his friends and family.
“I’ve told all my friends in the NBA whenever they come in town next year or so, come by KD’s,” he said. “They’re all looking forward to it.”
The Hal Smith Restaurant Group has partnered with Durant on KD’s. When eyeing the site and considering working with the Thunder star, Smith wanted to know if Durant would take an active role in the business, or would just lend his name and celebrity to the venture and cash the royalty checks.
“He doesn’t get a royalty. He’s an owner; he’s an equity player,” Smith said of Durant. “If we make money, he makes money.”
The menu will have a southern theme, with items like honey-dipped fried chicken, stuffed catfish with crab, slow-smoked southern ribs, chicken and shrimp jambalaya, steaks, seafood and desserts.
Smith said the average menu item will be between $8 and $30.
Although Durant said he’s no cook, the recipes will come from his family and his travels. Every recipe and item on the menu must pass his taste test.
“Basketball has given me a great opportunity to go around the world and taste a lot of different foods,” said Durant. “Hopefully, I have some good taste buds, and hopefully people enjoy what I like, as well.”
The 10,000-square-foot restaurant will include a main dining room, private dining rooms and walk-around bar with large-screen televisions. The main dining section will feature a stage for occasional late-night music acts. KD’s will seat about 320.
Joe Jungmann, who runs the Paseo Grill and Sauced on Paseo, has worked with Hal Smith for years. He will operate KD’s.
“He’s a tremendous manager of people,” Smith said. “He’ll run a good operation here.”
The interior decor will showcase several basketball-related items. Jungmann said his wish list includes Durant’s Olympic gold medal.
Smith, whose company boasts about 60 restaurants in seven states, also developed Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, which sits just to the east of KD’s.