For the first time in years, lights are shining brightly at the Hilltop Theater.
The 112-year-old building, at 1757 Frankfort Ave., has undergone years and more than $1 million of renovations under the ownership of Mo Deljoo, a businessman who’s made real estate renovation his hobby.
Deljoo has tried for a while to find tenants to fill the building, and this year, it was finally announced that the building would house a restaurant called Red Herring Cocktail Lounge and Kitchen and serve as the headquarters for real estate firm PRG Commercial Property Advisors.
Red Herring, which is co-owned by Deljoo and restaurateur Brett Davis, is opening for its first dinner service tonight.
Davis previously told Insider that the name described what he wanted the cocktail bar and restaurant to be.
“A red herring is any kind distraction from what is there,” he said. “We want to be a pleasant distraction.”
The entrance pays homage to the Hilltop Theater’s former life — customers are welcome at the former ticket booth before being seating. Deljoo also retained the theater’s original sculpted molding and brick walls.
More modern touches include hand-painted midcentury modern wallpaper designs by local artist Monica Mahoney, Edison lights and natural herringbone floors. The restaurant and bar are accented with bright blues, greens and reds.
The menu includes a whopping 100 cocktails as well as a wine and regional beer list and drunken milkshakes. Dishes include a charcuterie plate of local meats with spicy pickled green beans; smoked BBQ pork bites; poached halibut cheeks; crispy chicken skins; buffalo poutine with house bourbon barrel hot sauce; a Black Hawk Farm burger; and Kenny’s Farmhouse grilled cheese.
Jacob Coronado is the executive chef and Clay Livingston is the bar manager. Food menu prices range from $4 for french fries or a baby wedge salad to $15 for a six-ounce burger from Black Hawk Farm. Drink prices vary, with many cocktails in the $6 to $8 range.
Red Herring will seat more than 100 at the bar, in the mezzanine and outdoor patio. The restaurant’s daily hours of operation are 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.