For the past four years, Elliot Strathmann and Cindhura Reddy have spent nearly all of their working days together. In 2014, the couple took over for the previous (also married) owners of Spuntino, at 2639 West 32nd Avenue. Reddy’s domain has always been the kitchen and back of house, while Strathmann runs the bar program and service. They arrive at the restaurant every day by noon, and they leave together after closing. Sunday and Monday nights they both try to take off from work.
“For the first years of us working in the industry at separate places with the long-term intent to work together, we ran into so many people who would go out of their way to try to convince us not to run a restaurant as a couple,” Strathmann says. Not only are they glad they didn’t listen, but Strathmann and Reddy are opening a second endeavor, Namkeen, this spring at Zeppelin Station.
The Indian street food stall will get Reddy back to her roots and also into another kitchen full-time (at first), while Strathmann will split his time between RiNo and the Highlands. “It’s a bittersweet thing,” Strathmann says of the growth and expansion, adding, “We’re not the types to romanticize the idea of running any business together as a couple — we just count ourselves lucky that we were able recognize that we’d make a good team and had the pragmatism and honesty to find the right balance.”
Eater photographer Daryl Love captured the couple and their Spuntino team at work together during a Friday February dinner service.