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This Eater Young Gun Is Building a Louisville Empire

2015 Young Guns winner Ryan Rogers is opening an Italian restaurant

Bar Vetti/Official

An Eater Young Guns winner who operates two fast-casual restaurants in Louisville is teaming up with a fellow chef to open a new Italian restaurant in the city. Chef Ryan Rogers of Feast BBQ and Royals Hot Chicken and chef Andrew McCabe will bring an Italian eatery called Bar Vetti (stylized as "bar Vetti") to the base of a new apartment tower in downtown Louisville.

The restaurant-in-residence will be located on the ground floor of the 800 Tower City Apartments building, as Louisville Business First reports, and will feature a lineup of pizzas and pasta, plus an extensive beverage program.

Rogers tells Eater he always planned on opening a more formal dining concept, "but we had to make sure we had created some name recognition with some concepts that we felt were going to be initially more approachable in Louisville — those being barbecue and fried chicken," he says. "Luckily for us, we know Louisville also loves pizza (like everywhere else in America) and pasta, but there wasn't really anywhere in town doing it at the level we've experienced in other cities, particularly with fresh pasta and small plates."

The full-service restaurant will have outdoor dining, along with a more casual counter-service setup for coffee, breakfast, and lunch. The menu will include house-made pasta dishes, seasonal entrees, small plates, and wood-fired pizza. So it's jumping on board with the wood-fired cooking movement along with a number of other forthcoming restaurants across the country. True to Louisville form, Bar Vetti will serve a selection of bourbon, as well as wine and Italian-style apéritifs and digestifs.

Rogers says he anticipates certain advantages when it comes to operating in a residential building: for one, built-in clientele. "We love the idea of being the communal gathering place and we really hope we can connect people through the restaurant as they join us from coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks," he says.

"Bar Vetti is definitely a passion project for Andrew and me as it really takes us back towards our actual cooking backgrounds which were restaurants with menus that changed with the products that became available," Rogers says.

McCabe, a Young Guns semifinalist from 2013, previously worked at Proof on Main, Rye, and Harvest. He is currently the chef at Royals Hot Chicken. He will be chef and owner in this new venture.

"We're really excited about getting in the kitchen and creating dishes again that are more seasonally driven," Rogers says. The pair will focus on taking advantage of the produce available in Louisville. "We see a lot of vegetable-centric dishes in our future after having eaten our fill of barbecue and fried chicken."

Bar Vetti is named for a famous home that was destroyed following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy in 79 AD and excavated years later. The restaurant is on track to open this winter and will seat 50 people inside and 55 on the patio.

Eater Young Guns: Ryan Rogers [E]
Eater Young Guns Duo Plan a New Italian Hotspot for Louisville [ENASH]
Louisville restaurateurs plan a new concept in the 800 building [Louisville Business First]
• The 23 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of Fall 2016 [E]