A vegan restaurant that operated within the flashy Time Out Market Boston in Fenway has ended its tenure there, but that won’t be the last of it in the Boston area. MC Kitchen, an arm of Mobile Cooks, closed on September 27 after a three-month run at the Fenway food hall. The team of chefs behind the operation will now pursue a standalone space, called MC Cloud Kitchen, which will focus on rotating vegan dishes and mainly takeout and delivery.
Founder Matthew Kaplan said that the time at Time Out allowed the team to test a model and build a following to carry over into the restaurant. “We were told early on there was a chance it would be extended,” Kaplan said of the three-month residency. MC Kitchen had strong sales that surpassed projections, he told Eater. “We had a great time and gained a lot of vegan fans.”
The menu at Time Out came from Kaplan, Scott Rawdon, and Gabrielle Doucette-Boisse, with each responsible for certain dishes, including zucchini noodles, corn cakes, cauliflower steak, and tacos. The stall also hosted other chefs for pop-up menus, and the plan is to use a similar model at MC Cloud Kitchen.
“We want to have it so consumers know the chef behind the dish and who’s created that recipe,” Kaplan said. The model may also include a royalty incentive for individual chefs’ dishes. “The chefs really have the creative freedom to choose what they want. We’ll collaborate and come up with a menu that best utilizes the equipment.”
With highly rated dishes anchoring the menu at MC Cloud Kitchen, other dishes will rotate frequently, allowing the chefs to make use of partnerships with local farms and seasonal surpluses. As with its Time Out Market Boston menu, everything at MC Cloud Kitchen will be vegan, with a focus on delivery and takeout. Kaplan anticipates the majority of orders getting placed online, with minimal seating in the restaurant itself and potential for retail of vegan groceries and prepared foods.
The team has already begun searching for potential locations and has launched an investment campaign on MainVest. Kaplan said there are several options for spaces, including a vacant Cambridge storefront (the former Fiorella’s Express at 2401 Mass Ave.) that has equipment already in place.
“We could move in there pretty quickly,” he said. Mobile Cooks aims to raise $100,000 in investment by the end of October 2019. “I’m excited to use MainVest because in the past, startup investing or restaurant investing was limited. Now with MainVest the opportunity for anyone to invest with as little as $500 is pretty cool.”
Mobile Cooks is also exploring pop-up opportunities with two potential food halls in the Boston area, both of which are in the early stages of planning. Meanwhile, at Time Out Market Boston, a Greek restaurant will open in place of MC Kitchen, with more details to come on that project.