After nearly five years operating as a food truck, The Celtic Pig opened its brick-and-mortar restaurant and pub in the Ice House building on East Main April 20.
While the food truck will still operate, the owners Sam Bracken and Melissa Ingram will roll out an extended menu at the restaurant, keeping the theme of Celtic favorites with a barbecue and Southern comfort twist. The new business is called Celtic Pig Restaurant and Pub.
The space itself is broken up into several areas over two floors; the main floor, at street level, features a main dining hall plus, a street-facing dining room with garage-style doors that essentially can turn it into a patio dining area. The upstairs portion of the restaurant and pub seats 128 people.
In addition, there is a small sitting room just off the main dining room that features a fireplace, vintage photos on the walls, plus two chairs, a loveseat, coffee table, armoire, lamps and a taxidermy deer head. It’s like walking into someone’s parlor.
Downstairs is the pub portion of Celtic Pig, with a small dining room and bar area, with occupancy of 82. The bar looks to seat about 12 to 14 people, while the pub’s dining area, which also sports a pair of couches, almost has the feel of a German beer hall, with tables pushed together for large parties and communal space.
The bar back features 10 draft taps and a wood frame with green and gold stained glass. Most of the restaurant features walls of exposed brick.
Due to construction delays, the full food menu isn’t yet available.
“We got in here so much later than we expected,” Bracken told Insider Louisville. “We expected to be in here two months ago. We decided to do a shortened version and do it well.”
Ingram said the full menu should be ready within 10 days or so as staff is trained. The menu as it stands still focuses on Celtic favorites, but obviously features barbecue and other offerings as well. In other words, Celtic Pig will ultimately be a place you can go and have a Scotch egg, brisket sandwich and pierogies in one sitting.
The Scotch egg is a featured menu item, as it differs from most for two reasons: For one, it’s soft-boiled, not hard-boiled. In addition, the sausage wrap is a blend of ground pork and chorizo for an added spicy kick. It can be ordered with ginger mustard or house Guinness gravy.
Other Celtic dishes include two kinds of haggis, shepherd’s pie, and fish and chips, while pork and brisket sandwiches and several desserts help round out the menu. However, the expanded menu will include fresh salads, grab-and-go sandwiches, Scotch-cured salmon, homemade pierogies, and a Proper Sunday Roast, a British tradition featuring roasted beef, roasted potatoes and sides like stuffing, vegetables, gravy and Yorkshire pudding.
The bar program is also still under development and Ingram said it will feature Scottish twists on cocktails, from a Scottish margarita to Scotch whisky drinks like a Flying Scotsman and a Robert Burns. Live music will begin to pick up in May, while trivia with Geeks Who Drink is scheduled for every Wednesday.
Bracken said the restaurant will employ 26 people short-term, and servers and bartenders are still being hired. Anyone interested can apply in person, weekdays 1-4 p.m.
The Celtic Pig, located at 217 E. Main St., is open Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-midnight.