File: Matthew Thorsen
Breakfast at South End Kitchen
Time to get in those final brunches, lunches and classes. This morning, Lake Champlain Chocolates announced that it will close its nearly 2-year-old Burlington restaurant, South End Kitchen, on December 20.
In a press release, LCC owner and founder Jim Lampman said, “The South End Kitchen has been a place to savor fresh, seasonal fare, a place to connect over a shared love of food and a place for our customers to have a deeper experience with chocolate. Unfortunately, operating this complex, dynamic and risky venture took focus off of our core business making chocolate lovers across the nation absolutely crazy for our caramels, chocolate bars, truffles and more."
Contacted this morning, Meghan Fitzpatrick of LCC media relations and PR explained that the company will keep the 8,500-square-foot building in the family. Offices that are currently in the LCC building next door will move into the SEK space, allowing the LCC production and retail spaces to "reoptimize" as they extend into the former office area. Fitzpatrick said that when that process begins, in 18 to 24 months, customers can expect a new and improved experience at the factory store. "We get 200,000 people coming in for tours every year, so we're trying to make it work a little better," she explained.
Beginning on October 19, SEK hours will be scaled back, with lunch and dinner served Wednesday through Saturday, along with brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Classes will also continue until the December closure. Fitzpatrick says that LCC will work closely with SEK employees to find them employment within the company or elsewhere.