After three years in business, Tony Palombino’s Manny & Merle honky-tonk and Mexican street-food restaurant will be expanded and renamed Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen in late October.

According to a news release, the renovated restaurant will feature upgrades such as a larger outdoor patio space dubbed Merle’s Backyard, which will include an outdoor bar and seating, fire pit and adult games.

Inside the restaurant will get an expanded stage for live performances and more seating for private parties. Additionally, the restaurant’s well-regarded Southern fried chicken will become Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen. No word on what this signature dish will taste like or what else may be carried over from Manny & Merle’s current menu.

“With the amazing growth along the Whiskey Row corridor, downtown is fast becoming a top dining and entertainment destination,” founder and CEO Tony Palombino said in the release.

Palombino’s other concepts include Boombozz Pizza & Taphouse and Joella’s Hot Chicken.

The bar will  offer one-of-a-kind single barrel bourbons to go along with the 100 bourbons currently offered. Expect bottles from private barrel picks at distilleries such as Buffalo Trace, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey, Old Forester and Jefferson’s Bourbon (Kentucky Artisan Distillery).

The restaurant will host an October 24 VIP party to commence a four-day grand opening celebration through October 27. Exclusive specials will be on offer, and giveaways and prizes will be awarded on those days.

For more information about the restaurant call 502-290-8888.

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Steve Coomes is a restaurant veteran turned award-winning food, spirits and travel writer. In his 25-year career, he has edited and written for multiple national trade and consumer publications including Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. He is a feature writer for Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass, Whisky Magazine, WhiskeyWash.com and The Bourbon Review. The author of two books, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and the "Home Distiller's Guide to Spirits," he also serves as a ghostwriter for multiple clients.

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