Doug Gossman’s 40-Year Run at Bristol; Ed Hartless Goes Local for Fourth Street Live!

The tastiest podcast in these parts is back with another deep dive into the local dining and drinking scene. We start this week with a few laughs from our afternoon at the Tailspin Ale Fest, where we were pouring plenty of little glasses of great beer. Across the river, we learned the long-awaited Parlour pizzeria will open at the foot of the Big Four Bridge on March 15. Rick talked with Mike Safei last week about the coffee company’s new digs in Shelby Park and some exciting plans being made, including a brewery and bakery. We’re looking forward to a few big events this week — The Ideal Bartender event at Copper & Kings Wednesday, Das Meal in Shelbyville on Thursday, and the 5th Annual Gravy Cup on Saturday.

Steve’s guest is Doug Gossman, who started a business in the Highlands known as the Bristol Bar & Grille four decades ago. The success story was an unlikely one, as Gossman explains that he never expected multiple locations and this kind of longevity. Rick talked with Fourth Street Live! exec Ed Hartless, who is focused on bringing in local restaurants (like the upcoming Whiskey Dry from Edward Lee) and becoming more involved in local events.

In our Favorites segment, Rick chose a Traveler Beer Co. Pineapple Shandy at Tailspin, while Steve picked an as-yet-unnamed concoction involving Green Chartreuse concocted by barkeep Daniel Mahony at The Portage House in Jeffersonville. His favorite bite there was a perfectly prepared whole roasted trout. Rick was amazed at the speed of the service, and the quality of the meal, when he ordered a Buffalo Chicken Salad at Double Dogs in Middletown.

And finally, we want you to make a reservation with our sponsor, Harvest Restaurant, for a special Chef’s Table on Feb. 23. The fantastic meal, led by farmer Judith Schad, features courses accented with Goat Cheese. It’s $85, plus $35 for wine pairings, and you’ll save 10 percent by mentioning EatDrinkTalk when you call 384-9090.


Doug Gossman


at Fourth Street Live!, Ed Hartless

Ring 2017 in Right with Our Favorites

So you want to usher out 2016 with a bang and welcome in all the possibilities of 2017 with a night on the town? Want to make this the night you stay up past midnight, kiss someone special out in public, and Uber your way home in the wee hours? That’s what New Year’s Eve is all about, right?

Here it is Wednesday morning, and you still don’t have reservations with a local restaurant for Saturday night.

Here’s the good news. You’re not alone. The bad news is this. The longer you wait, the less likely you’ll be dining at your favorite spot. Or you’ll take the only reservation available, and it’s at 6 p.m. At last check, the Open Table web site offered 61 area restaurants with available seating for New Year’s Eve, though many of those listings noted that only a few spots were left.

Tops on that list (ranked by Most Popular) were Ruth’s Chris, Varanese, Village Anchor, Stoney River and Seviche.

Here at EatDrinkTalk, we want to help. Some of our favorite dining establishments are gearing up with special menus, and they still have openings for you. Our advice — print this post and start making calls NOW. Be the hero of the family and get the reservation, then book the babysitter and make sure your best outfit is ready to go.

Some ideas (unless noted, alcohol and gratuity are not included):

At Decca, in NuLu, Chef Annie Pettry offers a prix fixe menu including appetizer, entrée, dessert, champagne toast for $85 per person. Optional wine pairing is extra. Call 502-749-8128.

At The English Grill in the Brown Hotel, chef de cuisine Andrew Welenken offers early diners a three-course dinner ($75) starting at 5:30, or a five-course meal ($125) starting at 8:30. Call 502-583-1234.

At LouVino’s two locations (Highlands, Middletown), executive chef Tavis Rockwell will offer a prix fixe four-course dinner ($70) featuring seasonal dishes with Southern influences.  Specially selected optional wine pairings ($30) will complement the evening’s offerings. Seatings at 5, 7 and 9:15. Reservations available online only.

At Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar, special pairings of holiday cocktails and signature smokehouse dishes highlight the night, with reservations available until 11. Call 502-587-1626.

At Bristol Bar & Grille downtown, the celebration is called Pappy New Year, featuring a flight of Pappy Van Winkle 12, 15, 20 and 23-year expression. The four-course feast ($95) features New Orleans style shrimp and filet Oscar. Call 502-582-1995. The Bristol is joining in with the inaugural Lou Year’s Eve Party on Main, featuring local arts groups performing until midnight.

At Bristol Bar & Grille Jeffersonville, the New Year’s special is a worldly five-course wine and food travelogue ($180 per couple) from Master Sommelier Scott Harper and chef Heather Brown. It starts at 8.

At Corbett’s Restaurant in the East End, chef Jeff Dailey’s elegant five-course dinner ($100) makes for a night to remember. Seatings are at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. Call (502) 327-5058.

At Equus & Jack’s Lounge, hard-working chef Dean Corbett’s menu includes prime beef medallion and Canadian rock lobster tail. You can enjoy dinner for $55 starting at 6, or join the second seating at 8 for $65. Call 502-897-9721.

At Butchertown Grocery, a special four-course prix fixe dinner ($85) with optional wine pairings ($40) begins at 9, with seating until 10. Executive chef Bobby Benjamin’s menu features chicken and waffles, steak frites and striped bass. The price includes access to Lola’s party (see below). Call 502-742-8315.

At Lola, in Butchertown, start the party with live music from DJ PYRAMYDZ (aka Craig Pfunder) and a finish with a champagne toast at midnight ($25). Order from the menu, featuring crave-worthy snacks and a cash bar, from 6 p.m. to midnight.  Call 502-749-6323.

At Brasserie Provence, you have two prix fixe options. Early birds pay $49 for a three-course meal from 5 – 6:30. Starting at 7:30, Chef Guy Genoud offers a four-course masterpiece at $79. Call 502-883-3153. 

At The Levee at the River House, enjoy a full evening of entertainment from Radiotronic, while sampling an all-you-can-eat buffet ($125) of kitchen favorites including charcuterie and cheese, crudité, flatbreads, bacon-wrapped scallops, beef crostini, sliders, and more. Cost includes all-you-can-drink well and call liquor, house wines, and domestic beers. Dancing is encouraged. Call 502-897-5000.

At 21C Museum Hotel and Proof on Main, Executive chef Mike Wajda will prepare a special four-course table d’ hote menu ($67-$78) featuring savory holiday specials, including seared scallops with pumpkin miso, charred broccoli, pickled peanut and yuzu vin and Woodland Farm porchetta with fennel pollen, kale and turnips. Seating is from 5:30 – 11 p.m. Afterward, explore the museum and dance to the music of DJ Matt Coxx, plus enjoy live performances, starting at 9. There is a premium cash bar provided by Michter’s Whiskeys and Against the Grain Brewery. Admission is $59, and includes two drink tickets and a party favor. Check it out at


In the tradition of Lynn’s Paradise Cafe Pajama Party, you can go to Noosh Nosh in flannel pants, robes and slippers from 8 to 2. It’s a family friendly party with awards going to those with the most creative attire. Enjoy chef Anoosh Shariat’s signature breakfast and lunch dishes. Or get your traditional Southern good-luck-themed entrees made with black-eyed peas and collard greens. Also there will be a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, signature cocktails and specialty coffees. For more information, visit Noosh Nosh on Facebook.






Wednewsday: Hillbilly Tea’s back, 610 in wine mag’s top 100, Gustavo’s in Bristol slot, Joy Luck 2 open

Hillbilly Tea is back, which surprises me and many former employees and suppliers I’ve talked to.

After owner Karter Louis closed two HT operations here, a far-East-flung outlet in China, not delivering on his promise to open another in Portland and a sushi concept planned for a Chestnut St. location that never materialized, I had my doubts we’d ever see another Hillbilly Tea. But as of June 3, it’s back and located this time at 106 W. Main St.

On Sunday the restaurant launches a Sunday Social Series you can learn more about by clicking here.Hillbilly Tea Series

Seriously? Gustavo’s officially in Prospect Kroger center: Just as our sources shared with us back in June, Gustavo’s Mexican Grill will move into the Prospect Kroger shopping center endcap where the Bristol Bar & Grille’s lease was not renewed after 10 years.

From a business perspective, this makes little sense. Though it was by far my least favorite Bristol, it never missed a rent payment, had a good following and likely would have remained a good tenant through another 10-year lease. The Bristol enjoys nearly endless public goodwill by virtue of being so reliable since the first opened in 1977.

Yet according to a Bristol representative, the two companies charged with negotiating leases for the space wouldn’t even return the Bristol’s calls to negotiate new terms. It was later widely reported that a Kroger rep said Bristol’s offer was too low to even discuss terms. Yet that’s dubious when Bristol said its calls were never returned.

Now this isn’t the first time a good tenant didn’t get its lease renewed, but it generally doesn’t happen unless you’ve got such a hot property on the hook that you have to give the old reliable one the heave-ho.

So that hot property is Gustavo’s? An Amerexican concept with units in Crestwood and LaGrange is a great fit for Prospect?

I’m here to tell you that I like the one in Crestwood. Food comes out freaky-fast, it’s tasty and it’s affordable, yet not life changing.

It’s also just like Los Aztecas, the similarly Amerexican restaurant that’s operated for about a decade just two blocks from the Prospect Kroger center.

Heave the Bristol out for a powerhouse chain with bottomless pockets? I’d understand that. But to put a young restaurant company proven only in two bedroom communities of Louisville makes little sense.

Here’s what I say: Someone had a big ax to grind either with the Bristol or HIPP Enterprises, the company that built the Kroger center and sub-leased the space to Bristol. Kicking an old standard to the curb and replacing it with a relatively unknown brand just sounds sketchy—that is unless Gustavo’s will be paying much higher rent than the Bristol. If so, we’ll have to watch and see if it can make the profits necessary to operate there.

Joy Luck opens second restaurant, 1st in East End: If you haven’t been to this amazing Asian fusion restaurant because it’s in the Highlands, now’s your chance to get a seat at the brand new one in Old Brownsboro Crossing (a.k.a. “the Costco neighborhood”).

And kudos to its owners, who have operated this spot for weeks now off the radar, giving staffers a chance to learn without the pressure of a crushing crowd.

Word’s out now, however, since Joy Luck is hosting a grand opening at No. 2 (9850 Von Allmen Court, Suite 101, a few doors down from World of Beer) on July 6, beginning at 5 p.m. During the party select appetizers will be half off. Call 618-1601 for reservations.

610 Magnolia on Wine Enthusiast’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants list: The Courier-Journal reported this week that Ed Lee’s headliner restaurant landed on W.E.’s noteworthy list for the second year in a row. High praise and well deserved.

Still, I wonder how, when there are more than 800,000 restaurants in this country, any team of less than 1,000 researchers can narrow down such a broad number to just 100. That’s a lot of evaluating to be done.

Fact is, at least it’s one from the home team. Congrats, 610!

Rosé Rendezvous on at Bistro Le Relais Sunday. Wine nerds know rosés are fantastic—especially in hot summer months—yet underappreciated. So believe the experts who tell you it’ll be cool to go to Rosé Rendezvous at Bistro Le Relias on July 3 from 2-4 p.m. Westport Whiskey & Wine will bring the vino and pour it outside on the back deck alongside light hors d’oeuvre. Price is $25 per person, and the event is limited to the first 50 reservations.

Bye-bye to Joe’s OK Bayou: According to its Facebook page and absent website, the long-running Plainview location is officially closed. Having one less Louisiana grub option here is a bad thing, but I’ll have to admit I haven’t patronized it in a long time.

EDT #2 – Cheers with Willett’s Drew Kulsveen and Paul Tuell of Ballotin

With our inaugural EatDrinkTalk podcast behind us, we launch into episode 2 with an abundance of Louisville restaurant and drinks news to discuss. We even talk about how to behave at soft openings. (Didn’t know you’d get a manners lesson, did you?)

This week’s show starts with a discussion of the big news this week: Bristol Bar & Grille in Prospect was not allowed by Kroger, its landlord, to renew its lease after being a great tenant for 10 years. That means this venerable restaurant will close May 29. Rick and Steve discuss why this happened and who they think might fill in that blank space.

EDT Founders Rick and Steve at the 3rd Turn

EDT Founders Rick and Steve at the 3rd Turn

We then move straight on to drinking as Steve interviews Drew Kulsveen, master distiller at Willett Distillery in Bardstown. Merely hoping to learn what new ryes and bourbons were aging in Willett’s rickhouses, Steve instead discovered a massive construction effort underway to add a bed and breakfast in, new visitors center, restaurant and grist mill to the historic property. Rick then talks to Paul Tuell, the branding mastermind behind the line of Ballotin Chocolate Whiskeys. The guys chat about the brand’s creation and the many, many cocktails and foods you can flavor with these delicious products.

Let us know what you think of the show by emailing or And while you’re at it, sends us tips and tidbits about restaurant and bar news items, really cool restaurant personalities we should interview or your favorite places to eat and drink in Louisville!

Drew Kulsveen

Drew Kulsveen

Paul Tuell

Paul Tuell



Bristol Bar & Grille closing Prospect location on May 29

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 18, 2016)—The Bristol Bar & Grille announced it will close its Prospect location at the Prospect Village Shopping Center (6051 Timber Ridge Dr.) on Sunday, May 29.

According to a news release, despite experiencing its most profitable year since opening in 2006 and making multiple proposals to lease the property, Bristol was not afforded the opportunity to negotiate with Kroger, which owns the center.

The restaurant’s other four locations in the Highlands, downtown, on the waterfront in Jeffersonville and on N. Hurstbourne Parkway will remain open. All the employees from the Prospect location will be offered positions within the company.

“I’m really disappointed that Kroger, who owns the shopping center, through their leasing agent did not negotiate a lease extension for the Bristol,” said Norb Paulin, managing member of HIPP Enterprises who owns the lease for the property. “The leasing agent’s unresponsiveness to Bristol’s offers were very disheartening. It appears to me that there was a predetermined strategy to remove the Bristol and go with another concept. I’m very sorry that our loyal customers and dedicated staff will no longer have a Bristol in Prospect to enjoy and work.”

Bristol Bar & Grille entered an agreement with Paulin’s Louisville-based group to manage the space in 2006. After a very successful decade making a home in Prospect, Bristol intended to negotiate to take over the lease from HIPP when it expired this month. Last week, Bristol was notified by Kroger’s leasing company that would not be an option.

“Since 1977, we have been Louisville’s neighborhood restaurant, no matter which part of town you live,” said Bristol’s director of operations T.J. Oakley. “We love the Prospect community and felt at home there. We want our customers to know it was not our choice to close the restaurant. For reasons unbeknownst to us, the owners of the space weren’t willing to even negotiate with us about continuing.” Oakley says they hope one day to return to the area.