Fans of Old Louisville Tavern will soon have a second option to get the food and atmosphere they love. Hillcrest Tavern is expected to open Tuesday, Aug. 6, in Crescent Hill.
Owners Dan Borsch and Scott Lukemire also own Old Louisville Tavern, a neighborhood staple on South Fourth Street. Borsch and Lukemire also own Burger Boy, another Old Louisville establishment, and recently opened a sibling restaurant, Burger Girl, on Frankfort Avenue.
The roughly 3,000-square-foot bar will have a seating capacity of 120, Lukemire tells Insider, including new booth seating, several tables and a century-old Brunswick bar, which seats 10. The bar, made of mahogany, is an ornate, pre-Prohibition piece of work with three mirrors, columns and arches.
Pouring from the bar will be 16 craft beers, which will rotate, plus spirits including a large selection of bourbon.
The Hillcrest Tavern menu, Lukemire says, will be almost identical to the one at Old Louisville Tavern. The only difference will be the addition of two items: a double-sized version of the house chicken tenders and a new side in the form of fire-roasted, cast-iron corn.
The kitchen will stay open until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, as well as midnight during the week.
“We’re trying to be a late-night option on this side of town,” Lukemire says. “We feel like there’s a food void here after 10.”
Lukemire says the response from the neighborhood and others who have stopped by as the space was being built out has been positive. It adds another option just steps away from Joella’s Hot Chicken, Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot and Hooked on Frankfort, and is also near St. Matthews.
However, while Old Louisville Tavern is beloved by many, Lukemire says many have stopped in and said they knew of the establishment but had never visited there.
“They never get to that part of town,” he says. “We’re excited to be part of another neighborhood and to bring some neighborhood charm to this area. We’re trying to bring neighborhoods together.”
The popular brunch at Old Louisville Tavern won’t be replicated at Hillcrest immediately, but Lukemire says the plan is to phase it in. But 65-cent wings on Sunday and Monday will be a staple, and customers can expect hearty American food just like at the original.
The full range of nine signature burgers will be available along with the beer-battered fish and chips, steak frittes, Tex Mex mac and cheese and the Ville’y cheesesteak sandwich. Old Louisville Dip and the Tavern Club also are in place on the menu.
Décor will mirror Old Louisville Tavern; Borsch is a collector of vintage neon beer signs, and plenty will adorn the walls. For local beer enthusiasts, the collection will include vintage neon advertising Oertel’s 92 beer, Fehr’s beer and Falls City.
The antique bar fits right in with the exposed brick, original tin ceilings and terrazzo tile floor. That, of course, is part of why the owners acquired the space, which originally was a pharmacy.
“Honestly,” Lukemire says, “to me it feels like a bar that’s been here for 100 years.”
Hillcrest Tavern, located at 3212 Frankfort Ave., will be open Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight, and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m.