2 new restaurants open in downtown Louisville

From juicy ribs to a vegetarian or vegan dish, the chefs at two new downtown Louisville restaurants said there’s comfort food galore for whatever you fancy on the menu.

“It’s a casual space, and it’s an all fresh scratch kitchen,” said Graham Weber, Executive Chef at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. “There are enchiladas on there. There's fried chicken on there. There's a vegan chili on there.”

Porch opens Wednesday in the old Champions Sports Bar and Restaurant site just two weeks before the Omni Louisville is scheduled to open.

“We'll have the Marriott and the Omni guests walking right past Third Street, right past Porch, and we anticipate being extremely busy as a result of that,” Weber said.

Porch is attached to the Louisville Marriott Downtown on West Jefferson Street, directly across from the newly expanded Kentucky International Convention Center on one side and the Omni Hotel behind it on the other side.

Less than two blocks away on Fourth Street, another new bar and restaurant opened just days ago called Whiskey Dry by popular Louisville chef Edward Lee.

“I've been here now 16 years, and I've seen Louisville go through a lot of changes," Lee said. "This seems to be the most significant change downtown has seen since I've been here, and it's going to revitalize the entire downtown."

Whiskey Dry is Edward Lee's third Louisville restaurant after 610 Magnolia and Milkwood.

“I wouldn't call it fancy food, but it's definitely more creative than your average burger,” he said.

New downtown development was one deciding factor to make this his first restaurant at Fourth Street Live!.

“Fourth Street Live! already gets four million-plus visitors a year, and I just think that number is just going to expand,” he said.

The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau tracks 16.4 million visitors to the city each year. With the Omni scheduled to open on March 6 and the renovated convention center slated to open in August, the city is expected to see a significant spike in tourism. After years of anticipation, businesses like Porch and Whiskey Dry will start to cash in. 

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