Last November the East Boston Times sat down with KO Pies owner Sam Jackson and the successful restauranteur stunned all foodies who live in East Boston when he announced he was looking to sell the business by the end of 2019.
The cozy haunt on Eastie’s waterfront has become a destination for thousands craving Aussie meat pies, sandwiches and other funky offerings. But being halfway around the world from home, coupled with 10 straight Boston winters has had somewhat of an effect on Jackson who usually heads back to Australia for a few weeks in the winter. He uses this time during KO Pies’s slower season to surf, travel and warm up before heading back to Boston’s frigid climate.
“I’m from a beach town in Australia,” he said last year. “I grew up surfing, warm weather so I’m in the fortunate position that I’m not married, I don’t have kids so I can pack up and leave if I want to. So I’m throwing it out there to see if anyone is interested in taking over KO in the Shipyard.”
Jackson, who landed in Boston from Australia a decade ago, started KO Pies out of thin air. The success of KO Pies elevated Jackson’s profile in the community and he has enjoyed the reputation of someone who gives back to local schools, nonprofits and community groups since coming here.
While Jackson was bouncing around the idea of packing it in for warmer climates, he said that he has yet to receive the right offer for KO Pies and has even expanded the business to include an Asian pop-up menu on Wednesday nights.
Jackson admitted there are many scenarios that could still play out as he searches for the right investor. He is even open, if an investor agrees, to bounce around the warmer parts of the world during the winter months and come back and run KO Pies in the summers or even serve as a consultant.
But for now, Jackson is comfortable riding out the rest of 2019 with new Wednesday night offerings like cilantro noodles, Vietnamese-style chicken salad, and nasi goreng (fried rice).
Jackson said the Wednesday night menu additions at KO PIes, served alongside the famous meat pies, was inspired by Kaki Lima. Kaki Lima was an Indonesian pop-up that once offered a special menu on Monday night’s at KO Pies. However, Kaki Lima chef Retno Pratiwi and her husband moved out of Eastie this year leaving an Asian food void at KO Pies.
The menu additions, Jackson said, are something he craves and looks forward to cooking and reminds him of his days as a chef in Sydney.
Jackson said he is also planning on several special events from now until the end of 2019.
And while KO Pies is still on the market Jackson said he is looking to extend the business’s lease through 2020.