Robert Nava in the House at Kinderhook Tap

Nava could help Kinderhook be more than a bar

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By David Hammond

Robert Nava, the former chef/owner at American Depot Diner, is now in the kitchen at Kinderhook Tap.

Anyone who visited American Depot Diner on da Island on Roosevelt Road just east of Austin Avenue knew it was a special place. On the menu were diner classics done right, pot roast, hand-shaped hamburgers, biscuits and gravy, red velvet cake and always a blue plate special served on a platter of the requisite hue.

I wrote an early appreciation of this retro resto in Chicago Reader, and in the years to come, it was reviewed favorably in the Chicago Tribune and later got a visit from Guy Fieri of the Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins-and Dives.

Walking by Kinderhook Tap a few nights ago, I stopped in and chatted with Nava.

 "Depot Diner didn't make it," said Nava, "but it wasn't for lack of publicity. We were in a tough place," he said, referring to the neighborhood that many thought his Depot Diner would help resurrect into a viable commercial strip for retail establishments other than bars and repair shops.

But it wasn't to be.

Still, hearing that Nava is now in the kitchen was some of the best news I'd heard about Kinderhook Tap in a long time.

In 2010, I wrote that Kinderhook Tap was looking to be more than a bar. I think Nava is going to help them do that.

When I asked him how long he'd be cooking at Kinderhook Tap, Nava wasn't sure. He did say, though, that he has "some plans for the autumn and winter menus," which suggests he may be around for at least the next few seasons. That's encouraging.

I haven't been back to Kinderhook Tap in over a year, but I now have a reason to visit again. If you go, it'd be helpful if you posted about your experiences here.


Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2017

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2017 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad