Waylons exterior
Waylon’s Feed and Firewater recently closed. | Photo by Kevin Gibson

Waylon’s Feed & Firewater closed last weekend after a two-year run in St. Matthews. The announcement came on Facebook.

Waylon’s was by EAP Restaurant Concepts, which is Tony Palombino’s hospitality group. EAP also owns the sister restaurant, Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen, as well as Tony Boombozz. Palombino also founded Joella’s Hot Chicken, which is now owned by Schulte Restaurant Group.

The menu offered many of the same staples offered at Merle’s, although the vibe was more of a modern bourbon bar than a bourbon bar meets honky-tonk, which has long been the persona at Merle’s. Popular items like the green chili pork tacos, Dunked Cuban sandwich and drinks like the Mannyrita were mainstays at Waylon’s, just as at Merle’s.

The St. Matthews location also included a space facing Shelbyville Road that was promoted as a sports bar arm of the restaurant.

The busy St. Matthews corridor is competitive with many other restaurants and bars within easy walking distance, including Drake’s and Sullivan’s just steps away, Molly Malone’s and Saints Pizza Pub across the street, plus Gerstle’s Tavern a couple of blocks west. Diamond Street Grub & Hops recently opened across the street in the former Mellow Mushroom location.

We reviewed Waylon’s in 2017 and found it worthy of its predecessor, Merle’s. Palombino was not available this week for comment.

Ngon Appetit! closes on Brownsboro Road
Ngon Appetit exterior
Ngon Appetit is another casualty of the dining scene, but the social media comments live on. | Photo by Kevin Gibson

Ngon Appetit, after two years operating in a small strip mall on lower Brownsboro Road, also has closed.

“Our lease is up and we have made the decision to not renew,” the restaurant announced in a Facebook post, also suggesting the business will continue to operate doing catering, saying, “If you want food at your event, please shoot us an email at [email protected].”

The brief post concluded with, “Thank you all for your business.”

Ngon Appetit served Vietnamese-French fusion cuisine, with a menu of assorted crepe dishes, soups, banh mi, tamarind wings, desserts, coffee and more.

Along with the catering options, the owners’ responses to social media reviews hopefully will endure for some time. Most of the reviews for the restaurant were positive, but when they weren’t, well, let’s just say the owners didn’t back down.

One particularly humorous response by the owners to a reviewer who complained about rude service — it should be noted that Ngon Appetit was a fast-casual establishment with no table service — name-dropped astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in saying, “Since the universe has no center, you can’t be it.”

Craft House gets new chef, expanded menu
Charles Patterson
Charles Patterson

Crescent Hill Craft House has added a new chef, Charles Patterson, along with a revamped and expanded menu.

Patterson, a culinary industry veteran, recently was chef at Flavour. He attended culinary school in Charlestown, S.C., and worked there for many years in restaurants and catering businesses. He is originally from Lexington.

New menu items will include “Low Country Boiled” peanut hummus, “Million Dollar” deviled eggs served with pork rinds, prime flat-iron steak and eggs and the Tortellini Oh Mio Dio with chicken breast, andouille sausage and portabella mushrooms.

“My approach with this menu was to take the traditional Southern fare which Craft House is known for and make it stand out,” Patterson said in a news release. “I wanted to make it exciting and creative.”

La Bonita expands menu, dining room
La Bonita tacos
More space, more tacos at La Bonita | Photo by Kevin Gibson

Just a couple of doors down from Ngon Appetit, La Bonita Mexican Restaurant pulled a switcheroo a couple of weeks ago, moving its taqueria into a larger space that originally had been the business’ tienda, and moving the tienda into the smaller adjoining space where the taqueria first opened.

Obviously, this offers more room for dining, probably doubling the seating capacity. More importantly, the menu itself expanded, adding Latin favorites like molcajeteada, ceviche and stuffed peppers, plus several seafood dishes like jumbo shrimp cocktails and mojarra frita, which is a whole fried tilapia.

In addition, the taco menu expanded to include fillings such as campechana, which is a blend of pork, steak and chorizo, plus shrimp, fish and smoked beef. In addition, there are three salads available. The restaurant is located at 1999 Brownsboro Road.

5th annual Taste of Independents

Can’t decide which local restaurant to patronize? Check out the fifth annual Taste of Independents, and you can support more than a dozen of them at the same time.

The Sunday, July 14, event, which is a fundraiser for local charitable organization Apron Inc., will include Fat Lamb, Four Pegs Beer Lounge, Biscuit Belly, Butchertown Grocery, Louvino and plenty more, including wine and craft cocktails. The event also includes a charity silent auction and live music by the Robbie Bartlett Duo.

Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door.

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]