Southern barbecue joint replaces Joe's Older Than Dirt in Louisv - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Southern barbecue joint replaces Joe's Older Than Dirt in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Chef Fernando Martinez, the creator of Louisville's Mussel & Burger Bar and El Taco Luchador, is at it again opening his seventh restaurant in Louisville.

Red Barn Kitchen will offer chef-inspired southern & barbecue fare. 

"We always wanted to do a barbecue place with southern food," Chef Martinez said.

Last year when Lyndon staple Joe's Older than Dirt closed, the Cuban chef saw his chance to try something new to him, but familiar to the area.

In order to do that, he recruited a passionate barbecuer from western Kentucky to join him in the Red Barn Kitchen.

"It feels pretty good to have someone like Fernando give you a call and offer you a job doing your concept," said Reed Johnson, Executive Chef of Red Barn Kitchen.

Over the past six months, the two chefs created a small menu of 20 to 25 affordable items.

"We will have pulled pork, pork ribs, beef brisket, beef ribs ... We have shrimp and grits, fried chicken, a country ham platter. We're doing a little bit of everything. It's home cooking coming from a chef perspective," Martinez said.

"It's southern food, so it's pretty focused on the smoked and fried and well-sauced," Johnson said.

The two also hope to make a mark in the bourbon and beer scene.

"We're going to do a lot of bourbon," Martinez said. "We want to be on the bourbon trail. We're also doing a lot of moonshine drinks, so that will be a little different. And we're going to start with 26 beers on tap and add 26 more. That will be 52 beers that we'll have.".  

"Everyone knows beer and barbecue goes really well together," Johnson said.

The newly-renovated space includes two indoor dining areas with a full bar and a large outdoor patio that together seat 450 people.

"We want to be a really casual place, for families, with light music on the patio, bluegrass and country music, things like that. We want to be a really friendly and lively place where everybody is welcome," Martinez said.

Martinez is already the owner of hot spots Mussel & Burger Bar, El Taco Luchador, Guaca Mole Cocina  Mexicana and Artesano Tapas Vinos Y Mas.

"I think we're definitely a foodie town," he said. "I think we have as good restaurants here as they do in big cities."

Red Barn Kitchen's focus will be on good food and good memories, the old and the new.

"We can take them back to their childhood," Johnson said. "Barbecue is one of those foods that you grew up with too. I feel like a lot of times it takes you back to those food memories of being a kid."

Martinez is targeting July 18 to open Red Barn Kitchen.

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