A good way to close out the first half of the year is to make note of the number of proposed restaurants that have been announced in recent weeks, new businesses that have expressed their desire to enter the crowded field with a dining public that seemingly is always interested in new entries. This list is tentative, for in the restaurant biz even more than some other sectors of the economy, there is, as the saying goes, many a slip twixt cup and the lip; that is, a lot of things that could postpone an opening. But, barring anything unseemly happening, here are the restaurant ideas that F&D has heard about:

  • A much-ballyhooed idea that has recently come to our attention is The Cereal Box, a high-concept business proposed for 612 Baxter Ave., near Payne Street, a site that formerly housed Key Lime Salon.The concept, as the name portends, is to serve cereal. The owner of this idea, Eric Richardson, will pour a bowl with milk, as well as use cereal as a main ingredient in milkshakes, ice cream treats such as pop tart sundaes and rice krispie treat sundaes, rice krispie treat ice cream sandwiches, and so on. He thinks that showing nostalgic cartoons will be an additional cute idea. No date for opening has yet been floated.
  • Hooked on Frankfort, a fish house that plans to have outdoor patio dining is planned for 3202 Frankfort Ave. The space is two doors away from Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot; owners of that popular bbq spot, David and Robert Alvey, are the restaurateurs who are planning the fish house.
  • Waffle House has purchased 209 S. First St., the site of the former S.E. Davis pawn shop with plans to renovate it into a typical Waffle House (who would want anything different?) and open January 2019, at the latest. Waffle House is well represented in Louisville’s suburbs, but this would be the only one downtown. Recent downtown construction of new hotels and renovation of the Convention Center was cited as an enticement for Waffle House, according to a story in Insider Louisville. 
  • Rabbit Hole Distilling, which is building a distillery at 806 1/2 East Market St. in NuLu area, has agreed to partner with Los Angeles-based Proprietors LLC to open a bar and restaurant at the complex. Proprietors LLC owns Death & Co. bar in Manhattan, and has consulted on cocktail bars in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Jackson Hole, Wyo. The new restaurant and lounge will be located next to the distillery, but it won’t be a Rabbit Hole-themed bar, but rather “a world-class destination,” according to a press release. The $1.5 million restaurant is expected to open in spring 2018.
  • The Hall, 108 Washington St., will be a German-inspired beer hall, planned by the the partners behind Sidebar at Whiskey Row, according to a story in Insider Louisville. The long, narrow space backs up to the 111 Whiskey Row development on Main St. The Hall will serve lunch and dinner at communal tables and booths. The menu will feature small plates, with international and domestic sausages, charcuterie, cheeses and pickled vegetable, and beef, lamb, chicken and seafood dishes. The bar will serve a rotating selection of draft beers and ciders, canned and bottled beers, and wines and liquor. Though the concept is to emulate the communal spirit of German beer halls, the food and beer focus will not necessarily be on German items.

Two other Whiskey Row projects have been announced as well. One is being touted as a “speakeasy,” and the other as a private club.

  • Speakeasy Bar is proposed for 112 W. Washington St. another property on the back of the Main St. Whiskey Row development, this one owned by Main Street Revitalization LLC, the same company behind the whole 111 Whiskey Row project.
  • A tonier project is proposed for the 200 E. Main block: The Louisville Thoroughbred Society and The Press Box. The Louisville Thoroughbred Society will be a private membership club that will include an upscale restaurant, bar, entertainment center, meeting space and rooftop cigar bar on the second floor of the 109-year-old Fetzer building, located at 209 E. Main St., according to a story in the Courier-Journal.  The Press Box, which will also be located in the Fetzer building, will  be “an educational and informative site for experts and novices,” according to the story. The Press Box will be able to produce live podcasts, webcasts, news, features, handicapping tips and wagering advice from prominent handicappers and horsemen. The society has begun offering membership applications and will accept a limited membership of 1,500.