Louisville’s restaurant scene has become quite impressive over the years. With a multitude of renowned chefs and a focus on local, farm-to-table dining, Louisville has popped up on the radar for foodies everywhere. While we acknowledge growth and improvement, I would like to also acknowledge a few of the fallen restaurants along the way. Here’s to a few places that were delicious while they lasted!
Kaelin’s Restaurant | Speed Ave & Newburg Rd | Highlands
Kaelin’s Restaurant pioneered the cheeseburger. That would be the FIRST cheeseburger. Everyone in Louisville knows that this place made one of Louisville’s best cheeseburgers. What a total bummer that it’s closed! One more time I would like to order the fried green tomatoes appetizer and save one to put on my cheeseburger. Hopefully soon, you can at least enjoy their patio again. The recently occupying Mulligan’s has also closed, but the famous sign is still intact. I also noticed that the space next door gives a little tip of the hat to the olden days with its name, Kaelin’s Coffeehouse.
Azalea | 3612 Brownsboro Rd | St Matthews
Any time you mention Azalea in this town, certain folks will undoubtedly say that they love and miss La Paloma the most. La Paloma was in the building that Azalea took over. La Paloma was delicious, but I’m missing more things about Azalea these days than anything else. The menu was fabulous, the specials were fresh, the wine list was one of the best in Louisville, and that patio was almost perfect. Yet, the historic landmark was turned to ashes pretty quickly. Formerly a blacksmith and wagon repair shop in 1870, the building was torn down in 2013 after sitting vacant for 6 years since Azalea closed in 2007. Recently, a brand new spot was built to welcome Indianapolis-based “Mesh”. From what I hear, this place is delicious. It also seems that they use a lot of local and regional farms. We like that.
L&N Wine Bar | Mellwood & Frankfort | Butchertown
L&N Wine Bar and Bistro was a favorite for my wife and I. We would taste a few different wines while we ate our appetizers, and then settle on one glass each to go with our dinners. The best part was that if I didn’t know what to choose, the servers and bartenders had perfect recommendations. Currently occupying the space is Bistro 1860. They still have an expansive wine list, but I have not had their food yet. I am going to try it out soon. The menu sounds great and it seems that you can get a lot of their dishes in 3 portion sizes. The cuisine is French-American fusion.
Alameda | Bardstown & Edgeland | Highlands
This was a favorite Mexican restaurant that occupied the corner space in the Highlands now home to Impellizzeri’s Pizza. What a great corner patio spot with all your favorite southwestern fare to grub on. I wasn’t quite old enough to drink when I ate there last, but I’m sure they made a good margarita! Now you can eat pizza in that location. Good pizza. Impellizzeri’s also has a nice beer list.
Mamma Grisanti’s | Dupont Circle
There were a few Grisanti restaurants in Louisville over the course of time. We always used to go to Mamma’s as a family. It was hearty, family-style Italian food that was absolutely delightful. Big menu, lots of choices, and they were all delicious. The Grisanti’s currently own two restaurants in Nebraska! Their former Louisville space is currently occupied by Mikato Steak and Sushi.
While new, amazing restaurants are plentiful in Louisville these days, it hasn’t always been like this. Thanks to the old school Louisville eateries that started the upward trend!
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