Kings Co. Imperial — c/o Leisurely
Kings Co. Imperial — c/o Leisurely

A Small Business Client Feature

If that image above didn’t already make your mouth water, we want to warn you that by the end of our feature of Kings Co. Imperial, you will most likely be hungry.

Kings Co. Imperial marries a farm-to-table philosophy with a Brooklyn-style spin on traditional Chinese food. Their unique philosophy? Offer home-style traditional Chinese food with a creative cocktail program and an eclectic vibe. As Jacob Dean wrote in a 2018 article for the Michelin Guide, “Josh Grinker and his business partner Tracy Jane Young made a name for themselves by serving up a menu that didn’t pull its punches.”

We agree. Kings Co. Imperial’s menu punches include dim sum: sesame shrimp toast, Chinese hanging pork ribs, and bok choy potstickers; dishes like Dan Dan Mian (preserved mustard stem, Sichuan pepper, chili oil, minced pork, peanuts), Ocean Wealth Shrimp (baby shrimp, smoked tofu, snow pea, egg, ginger) and many classics, too. They serve dishes from multiple regions of China, including Canton and Sichuan, and don’t forget their beverages.

“Our fruit, herb, and edible flower garden supports our robust and enticing cocktail program, and we do our best to use fresh herbs and juices as often as we can,” says Tracy.

With three locations—Lower East Side, Downtown Brooklyn (for take-out and deliveries), and Williamsburg, they became a hit quickly. We are proud to be part of their small business growth story.

Kings Co. Imperial chefs and owners Tracy Jane Young and Josh Grinker, met in culinary school 20 years ago and trained under the same master Sichuan chef. Later, they traveled to China together, learning and honing their skills. They discover a shared love and passion for the craft and highly technical, diverse cuisine—the most technically difficult cuisine to master in the world.

“China has more recipes than any other country in the world because there is so much originality,” explains Josh. “It’s like the mother source of South Asian cuisine, all other Asian cuisines stemming from China.”

After traveling throughout Southeast Asia and China and working for some of the best restaurants in New York City, including 11 Madison Park, River Cafe, and Nobu, Josh knew he wanted to open his own Chinese restaurant. He approached Tracy, who was traveling the world as a chef on a superyacht, and at first, she thought he was crazy. She wasn’t sure why anyone would come, but also knew she had to find out, and in 2015 they opened their first location in Williamsburg. Eight years later, they still love it.

“We don’t pretend to be experts and we’re not classically trained Chinese chefs. We feel lucky to be able to continue learning and cooking a cuisine that we love,” says Josh.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Josh reminisces about eating Chinese food with his family.

“When we could afford to celebrate a special occasion, we went to Chinatown, eight or six of us around a table,” says Josh. “It’s a special culinary experience for me and the cuisine that makes me most excited to cook.”

Dedication and commitment continue to pay off for Kings Co. Imperial. In 2016, they made the Micheline Guide, and they never closed their doors during the pandemic. They continue to grow and expand. Through our commercial real estate loan program, Kings Co. Imperial bought their Williamsburg location, and they plan to purchase their next property, too.

“This is truly beyond our wildest dreams — to own our own building. Five years ago, we were looking down the line at the end of our rental extension. And now, we own our flagship. We are so grateful to Spring Bank for helping us get the loan process done so quickly,” says Tracy.

“Spring Bank went out on a limb for us.  Our financials are strong, but we didn’t have a lot of cash, so they allowed us to put only 25% down, which is less than most commercial real estate deals,” says Josh.

The next plan is to buy the building next door, which they already rent, and own contiguous buildings with almost 3500 square feet. The plan is to expand private dining options, host more events like their dumpling classes, and continue to support their local followings.

“Rising tides lift all boats; the community can support the businesses, and the businesses can support the community,” says Tracy.

We couldn’t agree more.

Visit Kings Co. and check out their menu.
Learn about the Kings Co. Imperial garden and read their Michelin Feature.

Learn more about our commercial real estate program and how we can help your business grow through a business checking account or business bank account.