A new sports pub near Churchill Downs and the University of Louisville will offer customers “pub fare with flair.”
Named JB’s Pub after creators Ben Barker and Johnny Morgan, the establishment will open at the corner of Third Street and Central Avenue in the former OverTime Sports Bar & Grill.
“The Louisville market for new and upcoming restaurants, particularly really cool restaurants, is vibrant,” said Barker, who’s also operating partner at Troll Pub Under the Bridge. “We are good operators, and we want to bring the city something new and fun.”
The owners of Troll Pub will have a stake in JB’s Pub. Morgan will serve as operating partner at the new restaurant, while Barker will retain his position at Troll Pub.
The menu will include six or seven artisan burgers, 30 beers on tap and pretty much any type of pizza — Sicilian, Chicago-style, New York-style and Detroit-style. JB’s Pub operators are even crafting their own Louisville-style pizza.
“We are not exactly sure what that is going to look like,” Barker said, teasing the menu item.
Similar to Troll Pub, the food will be made from scratch and moderately priced, roughly $10 for a hamburger and $17 for a pizza.
“We’ll be priced comparable to a place like Beef O’Brady’s,” Baker said. “We are going to serve outstanding food.”
When OverTime Sports Bar & Grill abruptly closed, it left behind tables and chairs, fixtures, some televisions and kitchen equipment, some of which JB’s Pub will use. They plan to add ten 55-inch televisions and a 177-inch projection screen but don’t plan any major overhaul, Baker said.
“We are really just kind of giving it a facelift and making it our own,” he said. The group will invest $150,000 to open JB’s Pub.
The pub, which will employ 40, is expected to open around Derby time.
While talking to Baker about JB’s Pub, he also let it slip that Troll Pub is opening a new store in Dayton, Ohio, in a former industrial facility near The Dublin Pub. It will be its second location and its first outside Louisville.
Louisville developer Bill Weyland’s company City Properties Group is spending $7.9 million to transform the former Dayton industrial facility into a mixed-use developments with 40 apartments and first-floor retail, according to a Dayton Business Journal story written by my college friend Tristan Navera.
“The idea has always been to make it a national chain and eventually franchise stores,” Baker said.
Troll Pub likely will never have more than one Louisville store, according to Baker.
“We don’t what to cannibalize the great thing we have going on in downtown.”