A rendering of Grassa Gramma Italian restaurant | Courtesy of Kevin Grangier

Before opening breakfast and lunch spot PICNIC, restaurateur Kevin Grangier told Insider Louisville that what he was really passionate about was opening an Italian restaurant, but it had to be the right time and place.

That time and place is early 2018 and in Holiday Manor, according to a news release Grangier emailed Thursday morning.

“I’m thrilled to bring to life what I believe will be the most authentic Italian dining experience in Louisville,” Grangier said in the release. “My love for Italy and Italian food will be infused at every level of this long-anticipated project.”

Grangier announced plans to open an Italian restaurant called Grassa Gramma in the former Emperor of China, 2210 Holiday Manor Center. The Chinese restaurant closed late last year after three decades.

Renovations are expected to cost $1.5 million, which Belle Noble will fund with some support from Republic Bank & Trust Co. Grangier also is working with architect Doug Schmitt, builders Campisano Partners and interior design company Details Design Group on Grassa Gramma.

Kevin Grangier | Courtesy of Kevin Grangier

The space is 7,000 square feet and will seat 250. It will employ roughly 100 people, according to the release.

Grassa Gramma’s menu will include house-made pastas, sauces, pizzas, breads and pastries. Customers will also be able to choose from an inventory of 1,000 Italian wines.

Food prices will range from $15 to $27 for dinner and $12 to $16 for lunch.

Tarek Hamada, who is currently senior manager and and maître d’ at Le Moo Fine Steak House, will be general manager of Grassa Gramma. Hamada previously worked for local Italian restaurant Volare and The Pearl Room in New York City.

An executive chef and sous chefs have not yet been named

Grangier also owns and operates The Village Anchor, Le Moo Fine Steak House and Kevin’s PICNIC under the company name Belle Noble Entertainment Group.

Louisville native Caitlin Bowling has covered the local restaurant and retail scene since 2014. After graduating from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Caitlin got her start at a newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina where she won multiple state awards for her reporting. Since returning to Louisville, she’s written for Business First and Insider Louisville, winning awards for health and business reporting and becoming a go-to source for business news. In addition to restaurants and retail business, Caitlin covers real estate, economic development and tourism. Email Caitlin at [email protected]


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