Category Archives: Food News
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November 10, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
Some sad news from a great local grocer: The Root Cellar will close at the end of the year unless new owners take over the business.
I’ve been a fan of The Root Cellar since it opened in Old Louisville in 2011. The small space was packed with local produce, meat and dairy products. At its peak, owner Ron Smith added a second location in Germantown in 2012 and even created a Kickstarter project to fund a mobile Root Cellar to bring produce to underserved areas in Louisville. Eventually, Ron closed the Old Louisville store and operated The Root Cellar out of the Germantown location.
On Saturday, Ron posted on The Root Cellar’s Facebook page that he will close the store at the end of the year if he can’t find someone to invest in the business.
July 1, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
It’s fitting that a non-profit would open a kitchen incubator in the space that once held Jay’s Cafeteria. Jay’s, which was located in the Russell neighborhood of the West End, was a Louisville institution for decades, and the restaurant was a prime example of how small business can thrive and help bring attention to an often overlooked part of our city.
The non-profit organization Community Ventures will bring resources to new food-related businesses with Chef Space, a kitchen incubator that the group plans to build in the space that once belonged to Jay’s at 1812 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. The group announced the project this week. Let’s take a peek at the media release:
Chef Space … will provide commercial kitchen space and business support services for up to 50 food-related early stage businesses. The facility will also house a retail outlet and meeting spaces open to the community. Community Ventures is renovating the 13,000-square-foot site with a late October opening planned as the first phase of a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization project.
I’d never heard of a “kitchen incubator” before this announcement. According to the Chef Space website, the incubator will provide a shared, licensed commercial kitchen that early-stage catering, retail and wholesale food entrepreneurs can rent at affordable rates. Chef Space also plans to provide support services, advice and programs to help grow these businesses so they can ultimately move out of the incubator and fulfill the incubator’s goal:
We want to add to Louisville’s already vibrant local food scene by creating a community of like-minded entrepreneurs dedicated to producing top-notch products. We want to help you do better, what you do best.
Chef Space will accommodate as many as 50 food entrepreneurs at a time. Folks who are interested in participating in the program can apply here.
I’m excited to see a new venture take over the Jay’s Cafeteria. But I’m even more excited about what the budding businesspeople who participate in Chef Space will provide for the Russell neighborhood. This project can’t do anything but help the area and our entire city.
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February 16, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
This is going to sound like poppycock, but I don’t care. I might not ever leave the East End of Louisville. The grocery stores on this end of town keep me in their orbit, and now my favorite is setting up shop.
Aldi will open at Westport Road on March 5, according to Business First of Louisville. For those who haven’t been blessed with an Aldi in their vicinity, this European discount grocery store chain is Trader Joe’s brother in price, operations and origin. I’m a huge fan, as I’ve written about on the blog here, here and here.
My fellow East Enders need to check out my blog post about navigating Aldi for the first time. Your grocery budget will thank you for visiting a grocery store with inexpensive cooking staples and so much more.
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February 13, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
- 502 Restaurant Week begins Feb. 18 and runs through March 4. This is your chance to enjoy a three-course meal from some of the city’s best restaurants at a prix fixe menu ($50.20 per couple or per person depending on the restaurant). I believe that’s French for “special-occasion food.” Here’s a list of participating restaurants. (Insider Louisville)
- This week’s latest beef: Iggy Azalea v. Papa John’s. In short, a Papa John’s driver got a little too excited to deliver a pizza to Iggy and shared her number. Then Iggs took to social media to complain, and now the driver has been reprimanded. Don’t mess with Australia, John. (The Hollywood Reporter)
- There’s a new Mellow Mushroom in the Highlands (1023 Bardstown Road), and the pizza chain has really done a great job of incorporating their business into the community (just check out that Col. Sanders art piece in the slideshow). Hmmm, maybe Walmart could learn a thing or three. (Business First of Louisville)
- The folks who brought us Eggs Over Frankfort will open Eggs Over Baxter this spring at Baxter Centre, 962 Baxter Ave. I featured Eggs Over Frankfort in my upcoming book (PLUG!), so I’m pretty excited about this addition. (Insider Louisville)
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January 30, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
- February marks the Comfy Cow’s Fifth Annual Chocopalooza to benefit local chapters of non-profit organizations. The ice cream shop has created a lineup of new chocolate flavors, and 10 percent of sales of the chocolate crop will go to Make-A-Wish, Gilda’s Club, Boys & Girls Haven and the Fund For The Arts. I have my eye on the Chocolate “Brownie Points” and the Chocolate “Chip Off the Old Block.” The Chocolate Lavender? Not so much. Check out all the flavor’s on Comfy Cow’s website. (The Comfy Cow website)
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December 12, 2014 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
BBC Taproom at 636 E. Main St. will offer $1 pints in exchange for a new, unwrapped toy for the charity Toys for Tots. I can dig it. (Insider Louisville)
In the corporate world, this would be called “synergy.” In my world, it’s a plain good idea. Great Flood Brewing Company on Bardstown Road has teamed with Grind Burger Kitchen on the brewery’s 100th batch. The beer, called G&G Blowin’ Smoke, will compliment the food truck/restaurant’s B&B, a heavenly burger of brie, bacon and habenero jam. I’m old enough to be secure in my dislike of most beers. However, I’m willing to give this one a try with my next B&B. (Insider Louisville)
There might be a plant coming to the West End that will convert food waste to methane gas. This plant will be a part of the West Louisville Food Hub, “a 25-acre food distribution center being developed at 30th and Market streets.” (Business First of Louisville)
Feast BBQ, a restaurant located in New Albany, will open a Louisville location on East Market Street next Thursday, Dec. 18. This doesn’t help in my quest for reasons to visit southern Indiana. I’m a little weary of this communal dining concept, though (check out this slideshow). Everyone doesn’t need to see exactly how messy I am when I eat, especially barbecue. (Business First of Louisville)
December 2, 2014 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
It’s a good thing I’ve settled my imaginary beef with Bobby Flay. It looks like this celebrity chef is making serious googly eyes at Louisville.
The Courier-Journal reported back in September that Flay was scouting possible locations to open a restaurant in Louisville. And Insider Louisville is hearing some buzz that Flay’s going to set up in the former Burger’s Market on Grinstead Drive.
I used to have an unreasonable dislike for Flay. I didn’t like how he rolled into town with his Food Network show, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, like he owned the joint and challenged chefs. Quit showing off, Flay. Then I met him in person when I was a reporter on the red carpet at the Barnstable Brown party. He was actually pretty nice, which completely squashed the rivalry I had built in my head.
So, I’m cool with Flay coming to Louisville. It’s just that there are a few other celebrity chefs and TV personalities that I would like to see make a restaurant home in Louisville. Come along with me as I play pretend with folks I’d like to see in our city.
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August 8, 2014 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
I don’t know if you know this about me, but I enjoy wine. Out of a bottle, box or jug, it’s my adult beverage of choice for an evening at home watching Murder, She Wrote. Fortunately, a new restaurant has opened on Bardstown Road that might get me out of the house in pursuit of wine and snacks.
LouVino opened in July at 1606 Bardstown Road in the former De La Torre/La Bodega space. The restaurant specializes in “small plates” and “big wine.” A few words from co-owner Lauren Coulter:
LouVino will have 40 wines by the glass, and an additional 40 by the bottle, along with an innovative “small plates” menu created by our executive chef, Tavis Rockwell.
The small plate menu looks like the real deal. Most of the small plates are $10 or less, which is right up my alley to go with a nice glass of vino. I have my eye on the smoked gouda Hot Brown mac and cheese ($9), the loaded baked potato tots ($8), and the fried chicken tacos ($9).
1606 Bardstown Road, Louisville, Ky.
Hillbilly Tea heads to Portland and West End. What other Louisville neighborhoods need more local restaurants?Leave a comment
June 4, 2014 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
First things first. I’m talking about Portland in Louisville, not Oregon or Maine.
And a lot of business owners are starting to point their eyes at this neighborhood as the next frontier in fancy redevelopment à la NuLu on East Market Street.
Hillbilly Tea (which I reviewed back in the day — four years ago!) will open a location at 2425 Portland Ave. and a West End location at 1023 Dixie Highway, according to the Courier-Journal. The restaurant will join the good folks at Gelato Gilberto, who are setting up a wholesale operation in Portland.
Kudos to these local eateries for looking past Ninth Street to operate new outposts. It makes my heart happy to see business owners taking a chance on an area that’s not Bardstown Road or Frankfort Avenue (no shade to these areas, just sayin’ that they already have a lot).
What part of Louisville do you think needs more restaurants/coffee shops/eateries?