The initial plans were to "turn the corner and do something that was different for us," The Brewery Executive Chef Shawn Ward told Eater. But several months after buying The Brewery and reopening it in April as a sort-of gastropub, Ward, along with partners Dean Corbett and Nirmesh Agrawal of Louisville Eats Good LLC ("L.E.G"), have decided "to just go where our heart is," which seems to be closer to the restaurants the partners are familiar with. Back in March, Dean Corbett told Insider Louisville that the space would "resemble Jack's Lounge" (Corbett's casual bar that merged identities with Equus a couple of years ago). Now the plans are to close for a period in mid-September to remodel and create an "upscale dining" restaurant called Ward 426 in the space.
Ward said one of the "driving forces" behind the shift was the realization that "as a restaurateur, you have to always listen to what the public wants"—and in this case, the "public" seems to have wanted an atmosphere more similar to Ward's former employer Jack Fry's or Corbett's Corbett's: An American Place. "We had a lot of Jack Fry's regulars, a lot of Corbett's regulars," said Ward, adding the L.E.G. trio also attracted newcomers "who just recognized [Corbett's and Ward's] names and … were kind of in a quandary of what's going on." The partners also felt the tug of the familiar, said Ward, adding "that really was where our hearts were." Ward said: "Pleasing people and giving them really good food. …That's just where we really want to go."
Before Bittners arrives and transforms The Brewery into something Ward promises is "going to be amazing," the chef says he wants to "say goodbye to The Brewery and do food that was notorious to The Brewery." Ward explained:
We have been talking with some people [and] want to have a period of time where regulars and the people who knew The Brewery in its past life can come in and, if you would, say goodbye.
When asked what sort of food would be a proper sendoff for the iconic 1980s hangout, Ward said: "We're going to have to figure out how to make cheddar cheese balls."
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