LouisvilleKY’s The WEEK: Good Eats in New Places, Lebowski, an Ark, Focus on Forecastle

If you’re like me, you probably keep a list in your head of local spots you want to get to, sort of like your Watchlist on Netflix. Then, when you’re in the car with your girlfriend and it comes time to go out to dinner, you can’t pull up the list from the recesses of your brain, and you end up at Olive Garden (just kidding, I don’t go there).

HubShandy HubWingsOn Tuesday I crossed one of those new spots off my list in spectacular fashion. After a drink at Volare for the NFocus Farewell Party (that print publication put out its last issue this week), Paula and I strolled over to The Hub, where I enjoyed a tasty Summer Shandy with a shot of bourbon and a delicious plate of chicken wings.

As you’ll see below, my list just expanded with no less than eight new local restaurants I want to try when I’m out, spread all over town. Anchorage, Middletown, Highlands, Lyndon, Downtown and Clarksville are all represented, so there’s likely a new place in your neck of the woods. And since the piece was published we discovered two more new spots in Clifton– the Mellwood Tavern and Time 4 Thai.

Oak Room Adapts: We are also bringing you an exclusive story about a traditional local restaurant – the area’s only spot with a 5-Diamond rating. The Oakroom at the Seelbach is revamping — and not accepting guests until its relaunch in September. Read about that and the trend toward more casual fine dining in EDT.

Will Russell’s Return to Lebowski: It’s the Lebowski Fest weekend, and one of my favorite Rusty Satellite guests, Will Russell, will be making a public appearance at the event he started back in 2002 — at the Executive Strike and Spare bowling alley. As you may remember, just after Russell appeared on Rusty in February of 2015, his grand plans for the Funtown Mountain roadside attraction near Cave City came crashing down after a series of run-ins with the law.

Russell’s well-publicized journey came to a bad end – the park was eventually sold at auction and his two WHY Louisville stores closed. Let’s hope the Dude is making a comeback. Get your tickets here.

The Ark Opening: The big story in town this week — a giant Noah’s Ark replace opened in rural northern Kentucky, and thousands of people showed up. It got worldwide media attention, much of it focused on why the religious attraction got tax breaks from Kentucky. Not to mention that its existence, and its interpretation of the world’s creation, pits its backers against scientists who scoff at the notion that Earth is only 6,000 years old. For what it’s worth, I’m on the side of science, and am disturbed that any tax money was involved.

Fore Good Summer Fun: On Rusty Satellite, we are looking ahead to next weekend’s Forecastle Festival. I brought on two lovely young women — Lauren Hendricks and Carrie Alles — to talk about all the environmental good works the Festival produces in addition to bringing bands like the Avett Brothers to town. Plus, I talk with business legend Bobby Clarkson about the charity golf event that goes back more than four decades, to a time when entertainers like Bob Hope came to Hurstbourne to play golf. The Kosair Charities event is Aug. 29.

Open NOW: July, it turns out, is a big month for restaurant openings. Steve Coomes wrote a hugely popular piece on EatDrinkTalk.net about seven new openings scheduled for July, and we learned about three others by the end of the week. We also talked with Gary Fox about the Taste of Independents that we’re attending Sunday, and with Brad Williams of Liquor Barn about the Bourbon Lodge coming to Forecastle.

Talking Track with John Asher: This never happens. But I asked Derby expert John Asher for his recollection on the 1960 Derby, and he missed it by a year. It was a great interview that you can hear on the Jtown Chamber podcast. Asher was the speaker at the Going Beyond Scholarship breakfast this week, in which the Chamber awarded four $2,500 scholarships to deserving members to continue their education. Listen IN:

Jtown Gets Kinda Cool with Video — And then this appeared on YouTube, highlighting Jtown’s hotspots.

Finally, some fun with Wil. Here’s the latest farcical comedy from Wil Heuser, whose cast for the Real Housewives of Louisville now includes Rachel Platt of WHAS-TV and Summer Eliason.