Varanese Restaurant Celebrates 10 Years on LouisvilleKY’s Frankfort Avenue

Party and Retrospective Dinner will be held to honor the 10-Year Anniversary

Photos from Varanese’s Twitter page

Louisville, KY (August 1, 2017) – Varanese Restaurant, located at 2106 Frankfort Avenue, has been bringing creative, fresh cuisine and nightly live jazz music to the Clifton neighborhood for almost a decade. Since its opening in August of 2007, over 500,000 people have been served at Varanese. To celebrate this 10-year anniversary milestone, the team at Varanese has planned a community party and a special dinner.

The 10th Anniversary Celebration will be held on Sunday, August 20th from5:00pm-11:00pm and will feature live music by Jeff Sherman’s 4-piece jazz band and special guest vocalist Gail Wynters, whose star-studded career includes touring with Roy Orbison, critically acclaimed performances in New York City, and appearances on several national TV shows. Guests can also enjoy half price bottles of wine and appetizers, complimentary cake, and a champagne toast at9:00pm. Local artist Petersen Thomas will capture the essence of the festivities live on site by creating a large painting over the course of the evening. The finished piece will then be placed on silent auction at Varanese through Sunday, August 27th, and all proceeds will benefit APRON Inc., an organization that providestemporary financial relief to Louisville-area culinary professionals who are experiencing financial distress due to illness, injury or other issues.


On Tuesday, August 22nd at 7:00pm, Varanese will host a 5-course Retrospective Dinner featuring favorite menu items from the past 10 years. Dishes will include the Curried Lamb Empanadas, Shrimp Ceviche, and Grilled Marinated Prime Rib.Chef and Owner John Varanese will speak about his namesake restaurant’s beginnings, and about the triumphs and challenges over the past decade. The cost of the dinner is $40 per person, and an optional bourbon, wine and cocktail pairing with each course will be available for an additional fee. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 502-899-9904.

Before it became Varanese Restaurant in 2007, the property was home to The Red Lounge, and prior to that it was the Bayer and Driesbach Body Shop. Originally it was built in 1956 as Gulf Gas station, complete with auto bays. In total, Varanese underwent a $370,000 renovation before its opening, including the bays being converted with custom built retractable glass walls to create a four seasons patio. The restaurant also underwent a second round of improvements several years later which included the addition of two private dining rooms. All of this work was designed to keep the integrity of the 60-year-old building intact as it’s located in the Clifton historic preservation district.

Varanese has always featured locally sourced products and highlighted the use of bourbon in the menu. The regular menu remains fairly consistent, and more creative courses are offered in the nightly specials and in the monthly wine, bourbon and beer dinners.
Chef and Owner John Varanese attributes the restaurant’s success to several things, one being his tenured team of staff. Both Executive Chef Erik Abraham and General Manager David Allen have been with the restaurant since shortly after it opened in 2007.
john varaneseAbout Chef John Varanese:

Chef John Varanese is known for his culinary creativity as well as his dedication to local farmers who provide the freshest local products as showcased in many of his signature dishes. He has won numerous awards, was honored as one of the country’s top culinary talents in the premier edition of Best Chefs America, and has previously been named “Restaurateur of the Year” by the Kentucky Restaurant Association.

Chef John’s namesake restaurant, Varanese, opened in 2007, and has become known for many things, including monthly wine and bourbon dinners, live jazz concerts by notable musicians, and the creative menu comprised of the freshest local products available. Varanese is open for dinner seven days a week.*Varanese was voted Best Restaurant in Clifton/Crescent Hill by Louisville Magazine readers in 2017!

Chef Varanese opened his second and third restaurants – River House Restaurant and Raw Bar and Levee at the River House – both located in a 27,000 sq. ft. complex at 3015 River Road, in 2016. River House is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, as well as Sunday brunch, and the menu features regional cuisine with a Southern seafood focus and a raw bar element.The Levee includes an indoor and outdoor bar, and the menu feature small plates and a robust bar program. Levee is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday and offers a unique riverside atmosphere paired with live entertainment. For more information, visit, or