Mellow Mushroom in St. Matthews closed last week, but a new restaurant is coming in June. | Google photo

The owners of Diamond Pub & Billiards have purchased the former location of Mellow Mushroom in St. Matthews and plan to open a street-food concept in the space.

The new venture, which will be called Diamond Street Grub & Hops, will make use of the existing 40-tap draft system for a craft beer program, while the food will be all over the place. Expect any and every street-style food one can think of, from classic street tacos to Thai wings, elotes, Philly cheesesteaks, a Chicago-style hot dog called The Wrigley, Bangkok meatballs and more.

There also will be sharable appetizers, a build-your-own macaroni and cheese option, salads and more. The menu will be chef-driven, with fresh, quality ingredients. The plan is to open on or around the last Saturday in June.

Diamond Street Grub & Hops will be owned and operated by the Diamond Pub & Billiards ownership group. | Courtesy of Jared Matthews

Co-owner Jared Matthews, who also is a partner in Lou Lou Food & Drink and Equus and Jack’s Lounge, said the space itself won’t change a lot, save for the addition of a shuffleboard table and some pinball machines. The small deck adjacent to the alley also will be “dressed up.”

Matthews described Diamond Street Grub & Hops as being family friendly by day, and more for night owls after the dinner hour passes.

Matthews, who started his hospitality career as a bartender, said craft cocktails will be featured alongside the beer selection.

The goal is to attract a lunch crowd, offer family-friendly dining for dinner and then have acoustic music after 10 p.m., he said, adding it will be “a laid-back theme.”

“We’re trying to hit the dinner and lunch crowd, the beer-drinking crowd and also the sports crowd,” Matthews said, from college hoops to the NFL ticket. “There will be TVs everywhere. You’re going to have a good view of a TV wherever you’re sitting.”

Matthews said he has wanted to do a street-food concept such as this one for some time, and with Mellow Mushroom closing abruptly, the situation felt right. He still is looking for a place to open a second Lou Lou, but Diamond Street Grub & Hops will come first. And within walking distance of two other places he co-owns.

“I said, ‘Next time I do a restaurant, it will not be in St. Matthews,’” he told Insider Louisville. “And this just happened to land in my lap.”

Also, when asked what the fate of the Donut Boy sign that adorns the front of the building might be, Matthews responded with three words: “Leave it up.”

Morels to add beer, late-night menu

The restaurant recently ballyhooed by Flavor Flav will soon serve beer, having recently applied for an alcohol license. In addition, Morels Café announced via Facebook it will soon roll out a new late-night menu.

The menu will feature snacks and sandwiches, such as the restaurant’s signature Farby and Chick-Faux-Le, not to mention the Backyard BBQ Burger. Other late-night items include banh-mi hot dogs and the McFib, a vegan spin on the McDonald’s McRib.

Snacks will include Philly cheesesteak fries, vegan “sports bar” wings and a buffalo chicken ranch salad.

Odds and ends

Bistro 301 apparently closed recently, as the doors have been locked up tight, the long-time restaurant’s social media presence is non-existent and its website is, well, just look at it.

Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse rolled out a new menu, with tacos. | Courtesy of Against the Grain

But MexA Tacos will open soon right next door, bringing the same steak tacos theme with it from its St. Matthews location, along with the promise of an expanded menu.

The restaurant already is touting some tasty-looking chili relleno burritos, while also having recently added chicken pibil tacos to the mix.

Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse is best known for craft beer, but the smoked meats are a fine pairing for the liquids produced there. That smoked meat now comes in taco form as part of a new menu rollout for summer.

The new menu still has plenty of the staples (don’t worry, the barbecued beef jerky didn’t go anywhere) in the form of smoked brisket, pork, ribs pork belly and turkey, but house-made sausages, including a coney dog and a beer-poached bratwurst, also take center stage.

Pho Phi Vietnamese Noodles & Grill has opened in Shelbyville Road Plaza in the space formerly occupied by Home Run Burgers. There doesn’t seem to be a website for the local version — there’s also one in Austin, Texas — and the Facebook page offers very little information. But let’s face it, Louisville is certainly getting its fill of pho these days.

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Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson tackles the 3Rs — retail, restaurants, real estate — plus, economic development. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono. Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die.” He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies. Email Kevin at [email protected]