Post-Covid some restaurants have emerged – or reemerged – with interesting culinary creations and hip dining spaces.

By Lennie Omalza   |   Photos By Mary Helen Nunn

The past two years have been a wild (horse)ride for the restaurant industry. Every month, eateries are opening, closing, renovating, or rebranding. If you’re looking for somewhere new to celebrate the fastest two minutes in sports, check out these four brand-new places that have popped up around town. 

Big Bad Breakfast

When James Beard Award-winning chef and New Orleans native John Currence brought his love of breakfast to Kentucky, he made sure to incorporate a little Louisville spirit into the Barret Avenue location. One wall in the restaurant features famous local faces, including Muhammad Ali and Jennifer Lawrence, and one menu item in particular — the Big Bad Hot Brown — is a special version of the Kentucky classic.  

“Our signature breakfast plate is our Big Bad Hot Brown, an ode to a Louisville tradition,” says co-owner Melissa Ritchie. “We worked very thoughtfully to create a flavorful combination with our in-house brined and roasted turkey, finished on the flat-top grill in bacon grease; our decadent cheesy mornay sauce with Dijon mustard for that flavor explosion; and tomatoes roasted in house daily. It’s served on a crumbled buttermilk biscuit with Tabasco-cured bacon — something you won’t find anywhere else.”

Photo of food from Big Bad Breakfast

The Big Bad Hot Brown is served on a crumbled buttermilk biscuit with Tabasco-cured bacon.

Black Rabbit

For a dark and sexy vibe, head over to the Black Rabbit in St. Matthews. The intimate speakeasy located behind Equus & Jack’s boasts dim lighting, comfy seating, and of course — carefully curated rabbit art.

The menu offers unique craft cocktails made with fresh, local ingredients, and American bistro-style cuisine created by Chef Reed Johnson, who joined the Black Rabbit team in March after working as the executive chef at Standard Plate & Pour in New Albany, and at Wiltshire at the Speed Art Museum. Options include everything from crab cakes and calamari to fried chicken and pizza, but the most popular pick is the Country Ham Wrapped Pork Chop with Southern-Style Braised Greens. “Our guests keep coming back and seem to love the hidden gem behind the bookshelf door,” says owner Jared Fox Matthews. “Knock three times!”

An image of food from Black Rabbit

The Country Ham Wrapped Pork Chop with Southern-Style Braised Greens is their most popular menu item.

Noble Funk Brewing Company

The family-owned brewing company that took over the former Kroger space in Old Louisville is family friendly, too. “We’re really curating an experience that is community based,” says Dominique Shrader, who co-owns the massive brewery with her husband, Jonathan; her in-laws are partners in the business as well. “It’s very family friendly. It’s also a space where you can do more professional meetings [or] private meetings. … I think it’s a really cool, versatile venue where people can come and eat and drink.”

The space offers seating for more than 200 people, with comfy couches and chairs, as well as outdoor picnic tables. In addition to its made-in-house brews, Noble Funk also offers a full bar, as well as dip-based appetizers, pizzas, and calzones. “Our most popular [is] our Date Night Pizza, which [comes with] bacon, dates, spicy aioli, and spinach,” Dominique says.

An image of food from Noble Funk Brewery

Take a bite of their Date Night pizza topped with bacon, dates, spicy aioli, and spinach.

Try a quick bite at these hotel restaurants in downtown Louisville!

Jackdaw Coffee & Bourbon Bar, located on the first floor of the Cambria Hotel, serves American and Irish breakfast, lunch, and dessert, as well as coffee, cocktails, and of course, bourbon.

Magnum Moon Hayloft Bar & Grill, on the second floor of the Cambria Hotel, serves everything from sandwiches to steak, as well as local bourbon and a hand-picked selection of local craft beers on tap.

Swizzle, located on the 25th floor of the Galt House Hotel, is retro-style supper club serving steak, seafood, cocktails, and more.