New restaurant at Westport Village set to open in June - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New restaurant at Westport Village set to open in June

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The vacant space where Artesano will soon be located at Westport Village. The vacant space where Artesano will soon be located at Westport Village.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A  new restaurant is moving into Westport Village and the owners say it's unlike any other.

AP Crafters is gone and Fernando Martinez has big plans for the now vacant space. If his name is familiar, it's because of all the restaurants he owns in Louisville -- including Taco Luchador, Guaca Mole, Mussel and Burger Bar, Artesano and Cena.

Fernando and his cousin, Yaniel Martinez, just signed the lease for Artesano Tapas. Right now, they're creating a look and feel for the new restaurant as well as testing recipes for the menu.

"Small plates that you can share. You won't be on just one dish. You can try different flavors, different textures, a lot of stuff," Yaniel Martinez said.

"Here you are going to be able to see baking the flat breads, making the salads, slicing the Spanish ham and cheese," added Fernando Martinez.

A number of businesses in the shopping center are fighting with Westport Village's new owners in a lawsuit, claiming they're being overcharged for taxes and operating expenses. Fernando says its new lease took months of negotiation, but he thinks it's fair.

"What we are going to pay is really clear in the contract signing." Fernando said, "Hopefully we don't run into the same problems."

"I think bringing that new style to this center -- we provide a lot of different styles of food. I think that will round it out nicely," said Wild Eggs owner JD Rothberg.

"What we're planning to do is get a permit from the City so we an have windows and can have an outside bar and you can be sitting over here and drinking and enjoying yourself. We're planing to expand the bar and be an L shaped bar," said Fernando.

Artesano is currently hiring up to 40 kitchen and wait staff. Most of the jobs are full-time.

When asked about another restaurant in the future, Fernando said there are possibilities. 

"We're in negotiation right now at Whiskey Row Downtown to do a second Mussel and Burger and I think we're going to wait after that. If not, my wife is going to divorce me," he laughed.

In the meantime, the focus is on Artesano. They think they'll be the first ones in Louisville to have a draft system for mixed drinks, with four to five kinds of margaritas on tap. The restaurant is expected to open in mid-June.

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