New Mussel & Burger Bar, Artesano Tapas opening in Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New Mussel & Burger Bar, Artesano Tapas opening in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The popular Mussel & Burger Bar has opened a new location, even as the owners prepare to open the doors at two other new restaurants.

On its second day of operations, the Mussel & Burger Bar downtown on 7th Street was packed. It was a fast turn around, but Fernando Martinez and his OLE Restaurant group -- which stands for "Oh, Let's Eat" -- says the challenge of opening this new restaurant was worth it.

"St. Charles Exchange was already a beautiful dining room," he said. "We came in and painted the space a different color, changed the lighting."

Martinez says you can get your Mussel & Burger Bar favorites and some other new items too.

"We have a new appetizer that we call 'surf and turf,'" he said. "That is pork belly with spicy rock shrimp. Amazing -- people are loving it."

The OLE Restaurant Group is well known in the Louisville community, with established restaurants like Guaca Mole, the original Mussel & Burger Bar, Cena, and El Taco Luchador. Now they have plans for the Joe's Older Than Dirt location in Lyndon, turning it into a BBQ joint with friend chicken and other favorites.

"Reed Johnson is going to be the chef over there," Martinez said. "He does BBQ competitions, so we're looking forward to seeing what he can come up with."

The restaurant will be called the Red Barn Kitchen and is expected to open in the Spring.

Architects will be working on the designs in November.

"We want Joe's to keep the look that is has right now," Martinez said. "We're going to do a few renovations, but we want people to recognize what Joe's used to be."

Next week, on Monday at 5:30 p.m., another new restaurant opens: Artesano Tapas at Westport Village. Spanish tapas are small plates of food.

"You are going to see cooks baking flat breads in the oven, assembling salads." Martinez said.

There is also a tapas bar.

"We're keeping the prices affordable, so everybody can afford to come here," Martinez said. "We're not a fine dining place."

"Manchego," a real Spanish fighting bull, is at the front of the restaurant. Martinez says this place is unlike any other in Louisville. You'll find three different Sangrias on tap, which is considered the first of its kind in the city.

When asked about the secret to his success, he says, "Just hiring the best people we can. That's the secret."

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