A local news story about independent restaurants got us discussing what it takes to make it as an operator — mainly sound business practices, solid operations and attention-getting marketing. With so much competition in Louisville, Steve and Rick remain amazed at the number of new eateries opening, including some highly anticipated spots. We’ve mentioned plenty on the show slated to open soon — including Portage House in Jeff, The Fat Lamb and The Eagle in the Highlands, along with several others.

We just got back from a visit to Red Hog Butcher on Frankfort Ave., and walked away both full and impressed with the operation. Steve has the scoop on the first female master distiller in Kentucky, and an update on some pairings from local restaurants in the love department. Our favorites come from Against the Grain, Red Hog, Muchote Tequila and Steve’s own cured ham, noting that he’ll be teaching a class on pairing cured ham with meats at Copper & Kings in December.

Mike Spurlock, our first guest, doesn’t just operate Loui Loui’s in Jeffersontown. The multi-talented Michigander brought Detroit-style pizza to the city, he says, and also caters to the late-night Baxter Ave. crowd with Up All Night, a food window near O’Shea’s that serves
Detroit street food. Plus, he plays in the all-star band every Thursday at Loui Loui’s, housed in the former Ferd Grisanti Restaurant.

Will Elger grew up in Cancun, where his father was a hotel operator and Will learned to appreciate good tequila. Now, he and his twin brother own Muchote, a brand that recently made its way into the Louisville market. He talks with Steve about what people are missing by not sipping tequila neat.

Will Elger


Mike Spurlock at Loui Loui’s