Imagine walking into a café, grabbing a drink, ordering an apple cranberry turkey panini that’s ready in five minutes and then walking out without ever opening your wallet. If things go as planned, that’s exactly what will happen at 5 Knives, a new restaurant in the Riverview Center, an office building located at 678 Front Ave. NW., in a space formerly occupied by Rico’s Deli. There’s been a complete overhaul on the establishment, which has the look and feel of a space age commissary. The restaurant’s owner/executive chef is Johnny Przybylek, formerly a chef at Boatwerks, an upscale lakeside restaurant in Holland. Przybylek has brought his vision and expertise to the venture he’s created, along with designer Brittney Tanis and Peter Mason, the property owner.
“The steak sandwich is the best thing on the menu in my opinion,” said Przybylek, who is proudest of this particular creation above others, which include paninis, sandwiches and a whole host of quick-to-make and prepacked items. The menu indicates how long it will take to prepare each item (3-5 minutes for a panini, 5-10 minutes for other hot sandwiches), perfect for those on the go during lunch hour.
The steak sandwich is made with chuck tenderloin, “which has a filet mignon consistency,” said Przybylek. It’s topped with sweet red onion marmalade and served on Arnie’s sourdough bread.
Other items will include hot grab and go breakfast items, fresh sushi, cold and ready packaged sandwiches, fruit, veggies, salad wraps. All made in house.
“I cut it all,” said Przybylek, who is also a sushi chef. I assumed I’d stumbled upon the inspiration behind this name of this elevated snack bar, but no. The five knives are representative of the basic fundamentals of the kitchen world: 1. Passion; 2. Quality; 3. Convenience; 4. Service; 5. Creativity.
So, how do the food and beverage items get paid for if you don’t have to open your wallet?
Things like house accounts and UPC codes imprinted on takeaway items, along with a self-service iPad-type device that customers will use to input their orders (people can also order ahead of time online). There are even branded coffee containers imprinted with a UPC code– a boon to anyone in a hurry on the way to that morning meaning. Just pour, scan and enjoy. To begin with, there will be a cashier to help aid in the process, but Przybylek said he hopes that before too long the café will be a fully self-service space. (People without house accounts may eat and pay with card or cash, but the process is streamlined and will rely a lot on the honor system, he added).
Once the food is collected, patrons have two seating spaces to choose from to enjoy the food: some high tables and lounge chairs located adjacent to the café inside the Riverfront Center and another one outdoors, a pleasant deck with a tree growing through the middle of it that offers a view of the Grand River. Przybylek has some grand plans for the latter. He’s planning some high-end wine pairing dinners with House of Wine that will allow him to showcase his culinary skills.
Five Knives is open weekdays, 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., hours that will allow Przybylek time to service weekend catering clientele and conduct sushi and charcuterie classes. For more information visit, rvcoffices.com under the “RVC Advantage” drop down menu.