Louisville, KY (WDRB News) --If you don't have a reservation for the next three nights at your favorite Louisville restaurant you might want to call ahead.
With Derby Day just two days away, restaurants will be packed.
There were plenty of tables available for lunch at noon time on Thursday at Captain's Quarters on Upper River Road, which has one of the best views of the Ohio River at Harrods Creek.
But tonight expect a different story.
"For the next three nights, we are looking at full capacity," says owner Andrew Masterson, " 400, 500, or 600 people at a seating and that is great."
Masterson, a veteran restaurant owner, knows the drill that comes with Derby each year.
"It is a lot of preparation," he says, "a lot of planning on everyone's part, a lot of new employees and a lot of hiring goes on."
For Masterson, this year is already a much better Derby.
Last year at this time he was struggling to reopen in time for Derby weekend after floodwaters shut him down for a couple of weeks.
He explains, "We had no kitchen inside, we were able to grill outside, so we did get open for Derby and Derby Eve and we did have some good crowds."
This will be the first Derby for several new Louisville restaurants, including the St. Charles Exchange, a new restaurant that opened just last Friday along South seventh Street near Main.
Managing partner Michael Welsh and his investors have converted this old downtown building into a beautiful upscale restaurant complete with an impressive 32 foot long bar.
"I think we have been well received and are really excited to be open," says Welsh.
He says opening up at Derby time guarantees a good crowd.
"Oaks and Derby are completely sold out," says Welsh, and we are excited about tonight, people are calling up and looking for reservations."
And with Mother's Day next weekend, business should remain strong even after all of the Derby visitors go home.
"Mother's Day is next week and that will be a super crowd," says Masterson, "we are already shaping up for a sold out crowd again."