Louisville area restaurants are giving free rein to the impromptu innovation of their business models during this time of coronavirus-inspired dislocation. They’re pouring growlers, boxing ready-to-bake family meals, assembling take-away cocktail kits and functioning as de facto corner groceries. Your favorite adaptive eatery might be unable to help you with toilet paper — but then again, anything’s possible right now.

A high-profile example of the restaurateur-turned-grocer is Chef John Varanese, owner of River House Restaurant & Raw Bar (3015 River Road; phone 502-897-5000). 

River House Restaurant & Raw Bar is serving up a new concept (by) offering customers grocery pickup. Each day, River House posts a list of meats, seafood, sides, soups, fresh produce and dairy products on its Facebook page. Customers can shop for what they like and order for pickup between 12 p.m.  – 3 p.m. daily. There is a $25 minimum. An additional 10% fee goes directly to hourly employees to help them during this difficult time.
River House is also offering a variety of family-style dinners for those who need a night off from cooking. Sealed bottles of wine, beer, liquor and cocktail mixers are available to-go.

Here’s an example of River House’s daily grocery list. As a reminder, it’s updated daily.


River House Restaurant & Raw Bar’s sister restaurant is the owner’s namesake Varanese Restaurant, located at 2106 Frankfort Avenue 502-899-9904 in Clifton. The restaurant’s regular menu is available for curbside pickup, as well as a selection of family meals for four persons.