Kris and Kali Kelnero and their amazing staff go the extra mile for dreamy cocktails and responsibly-, locally-sourced cocktail bites.
Open since Feb. 2019, Kelnero on 545 Main Street feels both retro and modern, classic and cutting edge, down-home and cosmopolitan. Tasty morsels with a twist blend seamlessly with fun and feisty drinks in a seasonal menu full of surprises. Where else can you enjoy out-of-this-world duck BLT and PNW Yukon Gold poutine with your Rosemary Whiskey Sour or Scratch-made Bawdy Toddy?
“We are willing to go to incredible lengths to develop innovative food and drinks that genuinely delight our guests, but we are never above trying something that doesn't align with most conventional craft cocktail bar personas, and our first priority is always hospitality,” Kali explains. “For example, this [past] summer, [we offered] a craft slushy cocktail program, and last summer, we launched craft Jello shots for our half-birthday party. Both have been a big hit! Also, one of our best-selling food items are the jalapeño poppers — definitely classic bar food, but we try to make ours just a little healthier and include local ingredients [Welcome Magazine, fall/winter 2020].”
“You can find great food and drinks at many bars and restaurants, but what matters most is how you feel when you're dining out, so it's important to us that we are known for having a welcoming, inclusive, cozy environment,” Kali says.
New Chef Carlton Madsen helms the kitchen out back, while Kris, Kali, and their attentive staff tend bar, concocting imaginative cocktails, rolling with punchy new drinks and updated classics: summer Slushies, Shrub Mimosas, Forbidden Fruit with Green Apple Lime Kindness sparkling HunniWater, My Bloody Valentine, Oaxaca Old Fashioned, Black Rose...
"We know some craft cocktail bars that refuse to use juice, or vodka, or get grumpy about making a Lemon Drop, Cosmo, or rum & Coke. From the start, we have always made it a goal to be 'classy but not pretentious.' You want a rum and Coke? Great, we're going to use a nice rum and a craft cola made with cane sugar, and we want it to be the best rum and Coke you've ever had. You want vodka? We have 30 to choose from. You want juice? It's full of vitamin C and it tastes good, and there's no other way to use the rest of your garnish fruit. So when we launched our very first menu at our snowy soft open, we intentionally included the most elevated, inspired, crafty riff of a Lemon Drop that we could conceive, because we're not too good for anything — we're just here to have a good time [IG, Feb. 12, 2021]."
Ask the friendly servers for suggestions. They'll be sure to steer you right.
Always innovating, keeping up with the ever-changing times, Kelnero’s is fast becoming known for their cocktail kits and crates and Wine Bag Wednesday to-go pre-orders, private virtual spirit tastings, and that special something that keeps people coming back for more.
On Feb. 13, 2021, Kelnero celebrated its two-year anniversary serving the Edmonds community. In commemoration, they began counting down their 12 best-selling cocktails a week prior on their Instagram, offering each day's featured drink for just $10. Among the best-sellers: Black Rose, perfect for the daiquiri set; Corpse Reviver, a classic; the blended scotch, lemon Penicillin; Cold Brew Martini, with vodka, Lighthouse Roasters coffee, and Kahlúa; and the Black Walnut Manhattan. Congratulations, Kris and Kali!
Here's to many, many more successful years!
Open for takeout and outdoor seating, with heaters for the colder months. Call 425-967-5687 or email [email protected] for info.
Read more of the Kelnero interview at Welcome Magazine Snohomish County.
Special thanks to Edmonds Downtown Alliance (Ed!) for photography.