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Hillbilly Tea To-Go opening on Baxter: This week, The Courier-Journal reported that Hillbilly Tea owner Karter Louis plans to open a to-go version of his country-meets-cool restaurant (960 Baxter Ave., next door to O’Shea’s) by Oct. 3.

Feller’s in a hurry!

Plans for the Baxter restaurant actually came about around the same time he announced the opening of a Hillbilly Tea in Portland, but Louis told the C-J that with all the media frenzy surrounding new businesses coming to that neighborhood, he thought a restaurant on Baxter would get lost in the shuffle — and so he waited.

Louis provided few details in the piece other than to say, “It’s all the favorites,” and that on weekends it’ll stay open ’round the clock from Friday at 8 a.m. until Sunday at 10 p.m.

Coming of Ward 426 signals end is nigh for The Brewery: This Sunday marks your last chance to enjoy the food at The Brewery. Come Monday, the place will be shut down for a week or so as it’s transformed into transformed into Ward 426, an upscale casual restaurant centered on the food of executive chef Shawn Ward.

Investor partner Dean Corbett said, “The tater tots are apparently one of the remainders of The Brewery that people really liked. But tater tots don’t pay the bills or attract the kind of diner who would appreciate Shawn’s cooking. To put him in the spotlight is why we got into this property.”

loop22A re-do for Loop 22: After less than a year in operation, Loop 22 has overhauled its menu, moving away from larger, more substantial entrées to more small plates. Co-owner Eric Morris wrote on Facebook that customers want more value and less food, and that it was time to adapt and evolve.

“You want to do all these amazing things and turn people on to new and exciting food, but you’ve also got to be conscious (of) what people can afford,” Morris wrote. “The caliber of food for us hasn’t swayed at all, we’ve just found ways to make things more affordable and added some dishes that are quite familiar to most, but put our stamp on it as well.”

Morris said the success of a recent Whiskey Wednesdays promotion demonstrated patrons want deals and smaller meals. So far, he said, the lessons learned from that, and their application, has yielded good traffic.

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Steve Coomes
Steve Coomes is a restaurant veteran turned award-winning food, spirits and travel writer. In his 24-year career, he has edited and written for multiple national trade and consumer publications including Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. He is a feature writer for Louisville magazine, Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass and Food & Dining Magazine. The author of two books, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and the "Home Distiller's Guide to Spirits," he also serves as a ghostwriter for multiple clients.