Jim McArthur’s Downtown Vision; Jason Smith’s Fight Against Parkinson’s

The best bar and restaurant podcast in the ‘Ville is back with more news and conversations sure to tingle your taste buds. We’ve got a report on the new Cuvee Wine Bar, a great new spot in the East End opened by one of the few Master Sommeliers in the region.

And remember that you heard it here first — Tony Palombino will convert the Boombozz Tap House in St. Matthews to a new concept called Waylon’s Feed and Firewater, a close cousin to his Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen downtown. We’re also seeing signs, including one that reads “Now Hiring” at the Mission Barbecue in St. Matthews, one of a projected 50 new restaurants scheduled to open in the city in 2017.

We’re looking forward to the Highlands Beer Fest behind the Mid-City Mall on Saturday. (Did you know it was the first modern-day brewfest in the city?) On Sunday, two of our favorite chefs — Harvest’s Patrick Roney and Jacob Coronado of the Red Herring — will face off in an Iron Chef-like competition at the Louisville Independent Business Association’s Buy Local Fair at the Water Tower.

Steve’s guest this week is Harvest Restaurant co-owner Jim McArthur, who has some unique insight into downtown’s changes, and how good it will be for business, when the Convention Center and other construction projects are complete in 2018. Rick sat down with veteran restaurant operator Jason Smith at Gordon Biersch to talk about one of Jason’s pet projects — the Denim & Diamonds fundraiser for Parkinson’s disease. Smith has early onset Parkinson’s, and talks about how he’s affected by the disease and why he’s so passionate about raising money for treatment.

In our Copper & Kings favorites segment, Steve chose to sample fried oysters at La Chasse, while Rick picked the eggplant Parmesan from the menu at Ciao, where he also enjoyed a memorable Old Fashioned. With many to choose from, Steve selected the Chateau de Puligny he tried during a press event at the new Cuvee Wine Table.


Jason Smith at Gordon Biersch




Pints for Parkinson’s Set to Take Over Fourth Street Live April 19

If you’re a regular at Fourth Street Live!, you know that a band playing on a stage in the street is a regular occurrence. But the party coming up April 19 marks a milestone event, as the third-annual Pints for Parkinson’s party spreads out over the entire complex.

Jason Smith, the general manager at Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, started Pints for Parkinson’s at the 4SL spot shortly after he was diagnosed with an early onset form of the debilitating and potentially deadly disease. (If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the affliction borne by Muhammad Ali for many years.) Smith got involved in the fight against the disease by donating proceeds from one of the restaurant’s Pint Nights to the Parkinson’s Support Center of Kentuckiana. The larger party evolved from there.

Last year, at the second event, Smith’s work to promote the party resulted in one of the largest crowds in the restaurant’s history, so much that he said he couldn’t have squeezed another person inside or out onto its patio space.

“We were busting the restaurant at the seams,” said Smith, who is able to manage his disease with medication, though he suffers from occasional tremors. “We took the fence down and went out into the street.”

The party attracted the attention of Cordish executive Ed Hartless, who engordonbierschgaged in meetings with Smith to plan this year’s event, which will now encompass all of the entertainment complex. Ten percent of proceeds from sales at Fourth Street Live! restaurants, and all beer sales from a tent at the south end of the complex, will go to the cause.

Smith said he raised $3,500 the first year, $10,000 in the second and hopes to break $20,000 this year.

“Jason’s story is a great one, and when we heard about it, I said we would jump in in any way we could,” said Hartless.

Smith is especially excited about the band at the top of the bill — national chart-topping Country-Americana band Jericho Woods. The trio of Breckenridge County natives was selected by the readers of Kentucky Living Magazine as the Commonwealth’s Favorite Performing Band last year.

If you’ve been before, you can expect the return of the traditional tapping of the Maibok keg from Gordon Biersch as well.
Ed Hartless

Ed Hartless

“What Jason has been able to do in promoting Pints for Parkinson’s is amazing,” said Hartless. “Instead of having the crowd squeeze into one restaurant, we will be able call attention to a great cause in a much larger space.”

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, but Smith’s passion for the cause isn’t limited to four weeks. He’s organized pint nights in Bowling Green and Evansville, and partners with other local breweries to raise awareness. He’s even formed a 501-C-3 foundation to help distribute the funds raised.

While Gordon Biersch is a national chain with 32 locations, Smith said the success of the Louisville store can be traced to its involvement in local events and causes. Every month, the restaurant hosts a Pint Night when all beer proceeds go to a local non-profit organization. He said the restaurant raised $80,000 for a dozen charities last year,  and members of his team volunteered 200 service hours to community service projects.

“Fourth Street Live has become more family friendly and community oriented, and being a part of the community has really helped our business,” said Smith.

The Pints for Parkinson’s Charity Fundraiser is Wednesday, April 19, starting at 6 p.m.  at Fourth Street Live!

Denim & Diamonds Gala Set for June 3

Provided by Parkinson’s Support Center

Get Ready to Party and Come Hungry
Country Chic – Jeans Attire

Parkinson Support Center’s
Ninth Annual Denim & Diamonds Gala Celebration
Friday, June 3
6PM – 11PM
Historic Locust Grove
561 Blankenbaker Lane

LOUISVILLE, KY–– It’s time to break out your Denim & Bling for the 9th Annual Denim & Diamonds Gala on Friday, June 3rd at Locus Grove; benefiting the Parkinson Support Center of Kentuckiana.

The Parkinson Support Center is a grass roots non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing information, educational programs, support networks and exercise classes to individuals and their families affected by Parkinson’s disease in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.  Our goal is to help individuals with Parkinson’s maintain their independence and stay active in their communities so that they may enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

The Parkinson’s Support Center’s Denim & Diamonds Gala celebration raises money to help fund support groups, exercise programs, and educational sessions all aimed at improving the quality of life among those affected by Parkinson’s disease in our community.  “Denim and Diamonds is our largest annual fundraiser contributing to 40% of our annual budget.  This fundraiser is not only a chance to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease, but it is an opportunity for the community to show support and raise money in a fun way.  The funding from this event is instrumental in enabling the center to provide our programs and services to those navigating life with Parkinson’s and their families.”  Bobbi Cain, Resource Development Coordinator.

Revelers will have a chance to kick back in a country- chic atmosphere with live music with Artie Dean Harris & Bourbontown. There will also be unique silent auction items and an array of live auction items. Regardless of budget, Denim & Diamonds Gala provides plenty of opportunities for party-goers to take home something amazing form this country-chic extravaganza!

Gala Activities Include:
·         Signature Appetizers and Main Course provided by Louisville’s finest Chefs: Dean Corbett, Daniel Stage, Ellen Gill McCarty, Jason Smith, Anoosh Shariat, Tommy Hayden, Ray Rameriez, Patrick Roney and Matt Weirich
·         Live Music by Artie Dean Harris & Bourbontown
·         Tasting Tables provided by Ballotin Whiskey and Michter’s Distillery
·         Photo Booth
·         Live and Silent Auction
·         Raise the Paddle
·         50/50

Individual tickets to Denim & Diamonds Gala are $225 and a table of 10 may be purchased by May 27 for $2,000.

A variety of corporate sponsorship opportunities are also available.  All proceeds directly benefit the Parkinson Support Center’s mission to promote a healthier and improved quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s disease in our communities.

Special Thanks to Title Sponsor:  Barbara M. Nichols
Diamond Sponsor: Gordon Biersch
Platinum Sponsors:  US Worldmeds, Michter’s Distillery, Louisville Podiatry

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities or purchase tickets, please call the Parkinson Support Center at 502-254-3388, e-mail us at info@parkinsoncenter.org or go to the website (www.parkinsoncenter.org)