“Jo and I practically revolve our lives around Kura. From the places we choose to eat, to the activities that we do together. It is only natural for us to build a brand and our space around her as well,” May shared.
Located in Bukit Damansara, KL, Kura’s Krafts is a pet-friendly beer cafe that combines Jo and May’s favourite things—craft beers, good hotdogs, and their adorable Shiba Inu dog called Kura.
There, you’ll find snacks like Chimkin Tenders, Wagyu Philly Cheesesteak, Furikake Fries, and of course, hotdogs, all of which have gone through extensive R&D.
And of course, they have craft beers. Served in cans and bottles, the brand offers over 50 different kinds of craft beers from around the globe.
In the same location, though, you’ll also find a cafe called Little Cup that serves pastries from Flaaah, a popular bakery in KL. Taking up the front portion of the shop, Little Cup only operates in the daytime whereas Kura’s Krafts only operates in the evenings.
So while there are two brands under one roof, you’ll only find one of them open depending on the time of day.
For the love of craft beer
Being frequent travellers, May shared that her and Jo would often sample different kinds of beers during their adventures abroad. “A trip is not complete without visiting the local craft beer spot or brewery.”
This love for craft beers grew the more they frequented Australia to visit family. And eventually, this led them down a path of exploring the local craft beer scene in KL.
Until one day, they decided to start their own business focusing on pairing craft beers with good food.
Initially the brand began as a pop-up stall, where the couple experimented with various kinds of food like yakitori and crab rolls. All the while, craft beer remained a staple offering.
“We decided to start it this way to get a feel of the business and really just test it out without putting too much commitment into it,” May explained. “It was a great experience and [we] got to experience life as a pasar malam vendor, but it was a lot of work.”
During this period, the couple maintained their full-time corporate jobs. It was more practical considering how new the business was, but this arrangement slowly took a toll on them.
Anything is paw-sible
Joining pop-up events were fun and exposed both the founders to the world of F&B entrepreneurship. However, it wasn’t long before May and Jo realised it wasn’t a sustainable business model for them.
And as luck would have it, soon afterwards they had the opportunity to do weekend-only takeovers at Feeling+, a cafe at Bukit Damansara.
“Our arrangement there was only to take over the space on Fridays and Saturday evenings, as the café was only open during the daytime,” May explained.
“This enabled us to progress Kura’s Krafts into the next level of having a physical location and a semi-permanent setup.” It was also here that they experimented with more complex food items, such as Beef Quesadillas, Garlic Prawns, and Spanish Clams.
They weren’t alone in the venture either as some partners joined them in the middle of everything. This includes Junyu who currently manages the business’s day-to-day operations.
All about that dog life
“The dream was always to have our own place and to put our own DNA and character into the space,” May shared. “Which is not possible in pop-ups and takeovers of other locations.”
Hence, on December 15, 2023, Kura’s Krafts opened its first permanent location in Plaza Batai. This next step took three months of planning, with renovations only starting a month before its doors welcomed guests.
In line with their goal for the brand, its current location is a pet-friendly space, so you can bring along your pet cats and dogs too.
If you’d rather not drink alone, they serve doggy beer sourced from Pawsome Brewery for your furry pals. The brand is also in the midst of R&D for pet-friendly hotdogs.
One thing to keep in mind is that your pets should be either in a carrier or pram, and leashed at all times for the safety of other patrons.
Otherwise, you could also spend some time with Kura, the couple’s 4-year-old Shiba Inu who is usually present at the beer cafe. “Kura will do a waggy tail and aeroplane ears when you come in if she likes you!” May exclaimed.
Brewing up a new future together
It’s been nearly a year and a half since Kura’s Krafts started, from a humble pop-up stall to now a full-fledged beer cafe.
May and Jo simply described their journey as a rather spontaneous one. “To be honest, we didn’t brainstorm [about the brand’s concept] at all and just winged it all this while. But it has worked so far, so the plan is just to run with it and keep going and don’t give up.”
“At the moment, we are ensuring that the current iteration of Kura’s Krafts is a success,” they said.
This includes making sure that all of the brand’s offerings are fresh and exciting. One way is by continuing their experimentation with seasonal specials.
As for the craft beer, they’re always rotating so you can experience different brews from new parts of the world with each visit.
Currently, the couple are still running Kura’s Krafts as a side gig alongside their full-time jobs. But eventually, their dream is to turn Kura’s Krafts into something bigger.
Their vision for the brand is to have a large space where dogs can run around freely and play together while vendors crowd the area. For the human clientele, they’ll get to enjoy a craft beer brewery and taproom in the background.
- Learn more about Kura’s Krafts here.
- Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Kura’s Krafts