Mottley Kitchen Is The New Kid On The Block
At the end of a quiet tree-lined block, somewhere between the hustle and bustle of Willis Avenue and the cheerfulness of schoolchildren on Brook Avenue, you’ll find a new cafe with incredible natural light, minimalist decor and the sweet aroma of freshly baked goods, but this is just the beginning of the latest ultimate cafe experience in the South Bronx, Mottley Kitchen. Leaving the grit at the door, patrons walk through a beautiful steel framed door and are transported to a clean, creative space serving up delicious seasonal bites and comforting caffeinated beverages.
Chef Kat Creech and her close-knit team of visionaries humbly expressed how the new culinary kid on the block revealed itself. “Mottley Kitchen happened because I was hoping to find a small commercial kitchen for lease in order to support catering operations. Every space we saw required a buildout and a lot of work… until we were shown the space that is now Mottley Kitchen,” Kat exclaims. “The tall ceilings, brick walls, and a rooftop had too much potential to pass up.” The space almost immediately shed light on an untapped dream that Kat and her husband David didn’t even know they had.
“I’ve always been passionate about food,” Kat shares. With experience working in nearly every culinary role under the sun—from interning at the Rachel Ray Show, to being a hostess, then a waitress, and even a corporate breakfast caterer—she made it her business to learn everything she could about creating and serving food in a way that feels elevated yet relatable. So, it was a very natural business decision when she saw an opportunity to serve the community in more ways than just catering; she, along with the support of her awesome team, could open a community-centered establishment with enough space to host events, classes, and eventually rooftop activities and entertainment (yay, summer!).
Kat and her husband David are Bronx residents and have woven the idea of “keeping it local” into every part of Mottley’s makeup. They sell Uptown Roasters coffee, offering delicious and responsibly sourced coffee beans roasted in the Bronx and Harlem, La Morada’s famous green mole adorns egg sandwiches and customers can even walk away with a little local magic by purchasing some Bronx Native merchandise, Bronx Woodworks cutting boards and t-shirts, and Sol Cocao chocolate bars. Nearly all the food is cooked or baked on the premises, with the exception of some bread options provided by Hot Bread Kitchen, a Harlem baking company with a serious commitment to empowering women through food making.
In addition to all the appetizing eats that are undoubtedly the foundation for the Mottley’s experience, their Saturday Sessions have quickly become a hit with locals. The first session was held on February 3 with DJ C-Diverse, who spun Latin-electronic fusion from 2-4 p.m., helping the restaurant hit a record day in sales thanks to curious customers and passersby. This furthers Kat’s idea that the neighborhood is hungry for something a little different. However, Kat and David are not trying to reinvent the wheel, they are embracing the exciting, eclectic, beautiful parts of an already established neighborhood that calls itself home to folks that have just as much to offer as they do. “The South Bronx has an outpouring of talented artists and entrepreneurs,” Kat shares. “We wanted to dedicate a space and time for [them] to showcase their talents and for our customers to hear and see them.” And with that sort of thinking it is easy to understand Mottley’s appeal.
Mottley Kitchen is currently the South Bronx’s best kept cafe secret, welcoming folks from all walks of life to come in, kick back, enjoy some serious eats, all while embracing their creative side, and with the events programming set to expand soon and include small group cooking classes with the likes of Chef Jose DeJesus, a.k.a. “Trill Cooker,” as well as other local cooks, this cafe is definitely here to stay. “All I can hope for is that the impression [we make] is a positive one… anyone can come to Mottley’s and feel at home.”
Definite Must-Try Items: Cheddar and Chive Biscuit ($3.50), Egg Sandwich with La Morada green mole ($6), Avocado Toast ($5), and the Super Fruit Tea ($2.50)
402 E 140th St, Bronx, NY
Follow Mottley Kitchen on Instagram @MottleyKitchen