Prepare for fabulous Pan-Asian food at the new Joy Luck. | Photo courtesy of Joy Luck

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.

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