Fast casual Italian restaurant coming to Highlands - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fast casual Italian restaurant coming to Highlands

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The owners of the highly successful Wild Eggs Restaurants are branching out again with a new concept.

They describe it as "fast casual Italian."

Strati Wild Italian will be opening soon at 1702 Bardstown Road in the Highlands.

"Our goal is to give people some real high-quality, very good value custom pasta, salads, and wraps," said co-owner J. D. Rothberg.

He and Shane Hall are partners in their restaurant ventures as the company continues to grow at a rapid pace.

"The Italian segment on the high-quality fast casual is untapped in this market, so we feel like we can make an impact," said Hall.

The partners believe the fast casual concept, which they say was refined by Chipotle Mexican Grill several years ago, meets the needs and desires of today's customers who have busy lifestyles and don't have the time for a two-hour formal dinner.

"Today's consumer is on the go," said Rothberg. "They don't want to spend a lot of time sitting in a restaurant."

Rothberg and Hall say if their latest concept is successful at their Bardstown Road restaurant, they plan on opening more such restaurants in the Louisville area.

"We feel like, at this price point, and the quality of the food, that Louisville will be able to handle from four to eight of these style restaurants," said Hall.

It was back in 2007, just before the Great Recession hit, that the two opened their first Wild Eggs restaurant in Louisville in Dupont Square. Hard economic times did not stop them.

"Thank God we were kind of lucky," said Rothberg. "Things were very favorable for us as we continued to grow out sales, we continued to open restaurants."

Now there are four companies: Wild Eggs Restaurants in Louisville, and three franchise-owned ones in Bowling Green, Lexington, and Denver.

Sixteen more Wild Eggs franchises are on the drawing board. The goal is to keep adding restaurants with both concepts.

"I don't think it is unrealistic to think we can one day be a $100 million company," said Hall.

The new Strati Wild Italian restaurant is expected to be open by the end of this month.

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