Jesse Huot, left, and Liz Huot own Grind Burger Kitchen and are opening Oskar’s Slider Bar. | File photo

Grind Burger Kitchen owners Jesse and Liz Huot are opening a bar this fall called Oskar’s Slider Bar.

“We live in the neighborhood and what we want the most here is a calm neighborhood bar,” Jesse Huot told Insider.

Oskar’s Slider Bar will open at 3799 Poplar Level Road, the site of the former Frolio’s Pizza and most recently Teena’s Pizza. It will include a full bar and menu of 15 sliders, salads, soups and a couple of other small items.

Although the Huots’ burgers helped them garner national attention, Oskar’s Slider Bar will only have two burger sliders on the menu. Other sliders will include fried fish, chicken, pork belly, miso- and kombucha-braised pork and “anything fun you can put on a little bun,” Jesse Huot said.

He added that they wanted to keep the cost of individual menu items to around $3, with limited-time-only specials costing around $4.

“We want people to come in and not feel like they will have to commit all their meal money to one thing,” Huot said.

Customers at Grind Burger Kitchen spend $20 on a burger and side, he said, whereas customers at Oskar’s Slider Bar will be able to taste multiple dishes for $20.

“You can come in and get a beer or two and maybe a slider,” he said.

Oskar’s Slider Bar will be a more casual spot than Grind Burger, with a pared down list of bourbons, no dedicated cocktail list, some craft beers and “all the necessary domestics in buckets or pitchers,” he said.

The namesake for Oskar’s Slider Bar is still about 20 years shy of enjoying all that the bar will offer. | Courtesy of Oskar’s Slider Bar

Huot described it as similar to the old Norwegian bars spread throughout the cold border states such as North Dakota, where he used to live.

The bar is named after the couple’s 1-year-old son, Oskar, and its logo is a bear.

“It’s kind of silly, but we always referred to Oskar as the little bear,” Huot said.

There’s no set open date for Oskar’s Slider Bar because Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District is doing work along Poplar Level Road, which will require tearing up the bar’s parking lot. Huot said they would wait until MSD finishes before opening, which they hope will be sometimes this fall.

That also gives them plenty of time to perfect the bar seeing as the building needs a complete build-out.

“It’s basically just a big cave now,” Huot said, noting that it was completely gutted. “It’s a big job.”

Oskar’s Slider Bar will seat 75 to 80 people, including limited outdoor seating. The Huots plan to hire about 15 new employees to run the bar.

Huot said he and his wife once considered the Poplar Level Road site for Grind Burger Kitchen, but the timing didn’t work out. Once the space did come available recently, he said, Grind Burger Kitchen didn’t seem like the right fit.

“We may open another Grind some day,” he said, “but this spot was calling out to be this.”

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Caitlin Bowling
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]