While you were lounging on a houseboat on a lake or whiling away an evening sipping rosé at a sidewalk table, or otherwise lazing the summer away, Louisville restaurateurs have been working hard to expand dining choices for us all. Since the last issue, we count 31 new restaurants offering a wide variety of dining choices. Add to that number seven additional locations for existing restaurants. Only ten restaurants have ceased operation (though among those are several notable popular dining spots), and five other multi-location restaurants have closed one or more outlets, but continue to serve at others. These numbers – a total of 38 new tables, against a loss of 15 – would seem to indicate that the local restaurant scene is still robust.
(Originally published in the Fall 2019 issue of Food & Dining)
Adding to that robustness in a number of ways is the Logan Street Market, 1001 Logan St. in Shelby Park, which, as we go to press, is looking forward to a mid-to-late September opening. In addition to vendors selling fresh produce and meats, packaged grab-and-go ready-to-eat items, or frozen heat-and-serve take-away food, nine cafés, bistros, bakeries or coffee houses will also share the renovated warehouse space near the Hope Mills artists’ studios and across the street from Tim Faulkner Gallery.
Susan Hershberg moved her Wiltshire wholesale baking production to the Market building earlier this year. Her retail space there, Wiltshire at Logan Street Market, will be open early for grab-and-go breakfast items, have bread, sandwiches and pastries available all day, and offer take-away-for-dinner specials for homebound commuters. Alchemy Restaurant will specialize in the cuisine of Venezuela. Bramble is a Southern and soul food restaurant. Cold Smoke Bagels will offer bagels, bagel and lox sandwiches, several varieties of herring and other Jewish dairy items. Crème de Lou is an ice cream dispenser. Harvey’s Cheeses will stock a variety of cheeses and make exotic (or regular) grilled cheese sandwiches. Foko will serve Mexican dishes. Ziba’s Bistro specializes in West African and Afro-fusion cuisine. And Safai Coffee will have a coffee bar; Mike and Medora Safai own and are developing the Market, and have already moved their roasting operation there.
There is a lot happening elsewhere in the area too. Hearth on Mellwood, 1765 Mellwood Ave., is a new American-style bistro in the building that was Bistro 1860; the owners, Jason and Aenith Sananikone McCollum, also operate Chik’n & Mi. The colorful stained-glass windows of a former Lutheran church now illuminate the dining room of Noche Mexican BBQ at 1838 Bardstown Rd. Union 15, a pizza place, is soon to join El Taco Luchador in the renovated Colonial Gardens, 5205 New Cut Rd.
Dallas McGarity (The Fat Lamb, Portage House) is now serving dinners Thursday to Saturday, and weekend brunch, at Alex&nder, the rooftop bar at Copper & Kings Distillery, 1121 E. Washington St.
In Jeffersonville, Goodwood Brewhouse and Live Room serves specialty beers and sponsors live entertainment above Cox’s Hot Chicken, 134 Spring St. And at its main brewing facility at 636 E. Main St. downtown, Goodwood has opened Galley, serving chili, burgers, wings and sandwiches. Across the street, at 637 E. Main, St. Louis-based International Tap House is pouring hundreds of craft beers, ciders and some wines.
Several new ethnic restaurants are joining the fray. Louisville has longed for another opportunity to sample Filipino cuisine ever since Sari-Sari closed its doors. Now, Lola’s Kitchen, 2240 Frankfort Ave. is giving diners the opportunity to enjoy chicken adobo, and beef Kaldareta again. At Cuba Y Mas, 5700 Outer Loop, you can find Cuban cuisine and dishes from elsewhere in Latin America. Falafel Oasis serves the downtown lunch and snack crowd at 226 W. Broadway. And Middletowners now have another Mexican choice, Las Margaritas Mexican Cuisine, 12220 Shelbyville Rd.
The food and dining scene in New Albany continues to develop. This issue we are listing four new restaurants across the river. The Standard Plate and Pour, 207 E. Main St., is described by the owners as “a pub with elevated food;” Boomtown, 110 E. Main St., is serving affordable, familiar family fare – burgers, steaks, pork chops; Yamato Japanese Steakhouse, 345 New Albany Plaza, offers ramen bowls, bento boxes, sushi and hibachi grilled dishes. Taylor’s Cajun Meat Co., 3306 Plaza Dr., has been open since last year, but recently came to our attention. This brightly lit spot offers Cajun sausage, gator meat, crawfish, Cajun-style stuffed everything and the makings to prepare your own crawfish boil. If you get there early enough you can chow down on one of their daily lunch plate specials, which sell out quickly.
A number of other new places are scattered hither and yon. Moya’s American Kitchen serves Cajun/Creole dishes, pasta and seafood at 10000 Linn Station Rd. Shahar Café replaces Anselmo’s at 1511 Bardstown Rd., with an eclectic menu shift toward things like kabobs, Russian piroshki, samosas and poutine. Six Forks Burger Company, 1270 S. Preston St., is family-owned and family-focused, with its familiar burger and fries menu.
Downtown finally gets a reasonably priced grocery store with Superior Market & Deli, 307 W. Broadway. It also sells sandwiches and pizza, and boasts a salad bar. At Mid City Mall, 1250 Bardstown Rd., Ramen House replaces Bazo’s on the Baxter Cinema side; the owners ran Ramen Inochi on Highland Avenue. The menu offers rice bowls, steamed buns and gyoza, in addition to the titular noodle dish.
The Endless Summer Paddle and Coffee Company, 1301 Frankfort Ave., in the Waterside Apartments, supplies java, juices, smoothies and snacks to river paddlers and landlubbers. 78 Coffee Shop is another addition to the Falls City Brewing Company development at 907 E. Liberty St.
Businesses expanding their presence in the metro area include two additions to the El Taco Luchador family, in the South End at Colonial Gardens, 5205 New Cut Rd., and in J’town at 9204 Taylorsville Rd. Mac’s Dough House has expanded by joining with Mile Wide Brewing, 636 Barret Ave., building a custom pizza oven beneath the silos. Salads and appetizers will be available too.
Dasha Barbours is now offering its appealing soul food-inspired dishes at a second location, 1300 Muhammad Ali Blvd. Cold Stone Creamery opened its third store at 1013 Jeffersonville Commons Drive in J’ville, and Which Wich opened its fourth at 3531 Grant Line Rd. in New Albany. Derby City Pizza is looking to have its fourth outlet, which will be carry-out only, open at 2331 Brownsboro Rd. by the end of September.
Not many restaurants have succumbed recently, but among those that have are several that made a unique mark on the restaurant scene, and gained many fans. Rivue is spinning no more. The fine dining revolving restaurant atop the original Galt House tower, 140 N. Fourth St., has closed for extensive remodeling. Waylon’s Feed & Firewater, 3939 Shelbyville Rd., closed as part of a transaction that will see the Oechsli Avenue Havana Rumba transitioning from its home to this high-visibility location. (As noted later, the St. Matthews Havana Rumba is temporarily shuttered because of structural problems affecting four popular Oechsli Avenue eateries).
In late 2014 Chef Shawn Ward left his long-time post at Jack Fry’s to partner with the late chef and restaurateur Dean Corbett and front-of-house manager Nirmesh Agrawal in developing the former The Brewery site into an upscale dining spot. For almost five years Ward 426, 426 Baxter Ave., was a classy place to eat, drink and talk in comfortable surroundings. Now, Ward and his partners have closed the restaurant.
Out at Norton Commons, Citizen 7, 10715 Meeting St., has ceased serving. The restaurant offered South American street food such as tacos, tortas, burritos and various appetizers. It was developed by Paul Blackburn and Alex Tinker of the Doers Group, who also operate Couvillion in Germantown.
Chef Madeleine Dee lost her lease on Fond, her charming 12-seat destination dining spot at 2520 Frankfort Ave. Though her restaurant has closed, Dee will sell her line of Fond Originals prepared foods, teach cooking classes, and produce her own cooking and entertaining TV show at Logan Street Market.
Morels Café, 619 Baxter Ave., which had developed a loyal following for its vegan interpretations of meat dishes – “chicken” salad, “roast beef” sandwiches – has closed its Baxter Avenue location. In a Facebook post, owner Stanley Chase indicated that he’s focusing on his other initiative, the Louisville Vegan Jerky Company, but will continue his catering operations. At press time, Morels announced that it will have a presence at the Logan Street Market and was planning some pop-up meals at local venues. Follow F&D on the web and on social media to keep up to date on future developments. Ngon Apétit, 1991 Brownsboro Rd., also lost the lease and has closed, as has Ramen Inochi, 2009 Highland Ave.
Three bar and grills have closed: JB’s Pub, 307 Central Ave.; The Planet Bar, 2232 Bardstown Rd.; and Wick’s Pizza at 12717 Shelbyville Rd.
Chef Griffin Paulin has closed the New Albany branch of Mirin, at 145 East Main St., but continues to serve his inspired take on Asian street food at his original Clifton location.
O’Charley’s is down to five area outlets with the closing of the Clarksville location, 1440 Vaxter St. And two more Steak and Shakes have closed as part of a corporate reshuffling. The S & S at 2717 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy. and at 10721 Fisher Park Dr. are grilling no longer.
NEWS & NOTES
Four popular restaurants in Saint Matthews’ Oechsli Avenue dining strip have temporarily closed after the roof to the building that houses them collapsed. F&D regrets the disruption of their businesses, and wishes the proprietors and the workers the best as the long process of repairs goes on. The restaurants affected are Havana Rumba at 4115 Oechsli Ave., Del Frisco’s at 4107, Charim Korean at 4123 and Half Peach Café at 4121.
We are de-listing River City Winery, 321 Pearl St., New Albany, from the guide as the business is closed temporarily, with the goal of reopening (and our re-listing them) in the near future.
And finally, we apologize to Jason’s Deli for our noting last issue the closing of the wrong location. Jason’s Deli at 1975 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy has closed, not the outlet at 410 N. Hurstbourne, as we asserted. The North Hurstbourne store is open and serving. F&D