Somewhere around 100 indie restaurants opened in Louisville in 2019, while 50 or thereabouts closed. Every last one of them is (or was) someone’s dream, brought to fruition by old-school blood, sweat and tears.

At times the difference between success and failure can be thinner than those sheets of filo dough in your Greek aunt’s spanakopita, but there’s nothing quite like food and dining (lower case) to bring people together, and this shared ideal is worth the pursuit.   

Simply stated, Food & Dining Magazine remains in awe of all the entrepreneurs and risk-takers in the Louisville area’s food and drink sector, those intrepid souls who glance in the general direction of the daunting odds, shrug, and follow their muses. For those about to rock their dreams in 2020, we salute you.

For this final Food & Dining Magazine post in 2019, your attention is directed to our friends at Louisville Business First, where reporter Haley Cawthon recently filed an exclusive about the coming transformation of Sullivan’s Tap House (3929 Shelbyville Road) into a “new-to-market, upscale concept called The Ainsworth.”

Matt Taylor, who owns Sullivan’s with partners John Sullivan and Breno Giacomini, said his restaurant group purchased The Ainsworth restaurant brand, which is based in New York. He said the concept is a great fit for St. Matthews, as it is turning into more of a restaurant scene as opposed to night life.

This certainly seems to be the trend, although it probably wasn’t the topic of conversation around area water coolers the following morning.   

But the flashiest thing on the menu by far is the Foodgod 24K Gold Wings. Yes, you read that right — the wings are wrapped in actual gold.
“We partnered with the Foodgod — you know that guy Johnathan [Cheban] of ‘The Kardashians’ — to create 24-carat gold wings that are covered in real gold flakes,” Taylor said. “They are served with a giant gold bottle of Ace of Spades champagne.”
At the Nashville location, the golden wings are priced at $35 for eight, $70 for 16, and $1,000 for 50 (the priciest option coming with the champagne, a brand partially owned by rap mogul Jay-Z).

One thing we know: This isn’t the 30-liter bottle of the champagne otherwise known as Armand de Brignac, which can go for as much as $200,000. Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades Brut Rose might be closer to the mark. Whatever the label, The Ainsworth’s feel will be light years away from Bluegrass Brewing Company, which occupied the space for 24 years prior to the advent of Sullivan’s.

The Ainsworth venues feature upscale rustic décor, including barn wood pine, chandeliers, leather booths and televisions set in antique picture frames that transform into mirrors when not in use. Taylor said the overhaul will be a $1 million investment.

Cawthon has the whole, interesting story here: EXCLUSIVE: St. Matthews restaurant closes, will rebrand to new upscale concept.