Main Street is peppered with an eclectic array of fine dining restaurants, casual lunch spots, and soda and ice cream parlors. Carrburritos, Kindred, Millstone Bake House, Toast and The Pickled Peach rank among the top most popular with Davidson students and professors. Two students work at these local favorites.
Gage Holloway ‘16 is currently a waiter a Kindred, one of Davidson’s newest additions, which specializes in new Southern cuisine— perhaps most significantly, however, “Bon Appétit Magazine” ranked it as the seventh-best new restaurant in the nation in its annual “Hot 10” list. Holloway has worked for Kindred for nearly a month with previous experience at Il Bosco, a rustic Italian eatery, and Millstone Bake House, a pastry shop with its restaurant spin-off, Upper Crust, on the second level. Holloway has utilized his adeptness with the restaurant industry as a means of supporting himself throughout his time at Davidson.
Although juggling a forty-hour work week is no easy feat, Holloway believes that as long as he “[organizes] his time properly…[he] easily [makes] it through the week just like any other student.” He expressed that his job has helped him develop into as a more responsible, organized adult. Although working in a costumer service job has been unsavory at times, Holloway attests that “it can be a lot of fun,” and that he has forged relationships with“great people at work and in the community.” Julia Vining ‘18 also works at Kindred as a hostess. She chose to work at Kindred over other restaurants because she was “drawn to its cool, New York vibe…[which reminds her] of home.”
“It definitely feels like a family,” Vining added. It’s a relationship that she continues to build upon during her three weeknights there.
Vining admits that it can be challenging to balance her workload, extracurricular interests, and social life while working 10 hours per week; however, the weekly escape “from the Davidson bubble” has helped alleviate stress, rather than added to it. Furthermore, she believes her time at Kindred has “helped [her] to feel more like a part of the surrounding Davidson community” as well as allowed her to feel “more independent.” Vining noted that overall, she “[loves] working there…[and] really [enjoys] the contrast to the typical Davidson scene.”
The high volume of diners that Kindred serves each week requires that Holloway and Vining be alert on the job. Holloway noted that Kindred serves “‘about 75 [to] 100 people on the books [in addition to] walk-ins ”’ during the week, and that it is not uncommon to serve over 250 people on the weekend. On Family Weekend, he added, Kindred served their busiest crowd ever — an estimated 322 people.
Despite the additional strain of working at such a popular restaurant, Vining and Holloway indicate that they are adapting readily.