Louisville Magazine

JUL 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 7.19 71 "I've been a vegan for several years, and it can be a challenge to find reliable food options. Half- Peach Bakery has a wonderful vegan Sunday brunch buffet. Try the fantastic French toast bread pudding and the tofu scramble." — Charlie Sexton, Commonwealth Theatre artistic director Checking in (again) with May profile subject Chuck Rubin, owner of his namesake photography store on Bardstown Road "Rocky's Sub Pub in Jeffersonville was my favorite place to eat, but they're gone. They had good food and you could sit outside on the river. And then they went stupid. I would always get the chicken Parmesan, I think, but I wanted different noodles than it came with. So I would always ask to swap the noodles out — I forget exactly which noodles came with which dish — but they told me I had to buy both meals and then end up with one whole meal left over. That's how stupid they got. I also wanted the chicken cooked more — brown on the outside, not white and soggy — and for God's sake, no butter sauce. And they'd tell me the chicken came that way. No it didn't! And they didn't have spumoni. I mean, the nerve. An Italian restaurant not having spumoni! But I loved that they didn't give me a hard time when I ordered a Diet Coke with two cherries and a fresh piece of lime. Nobody was fazed by that. "The only places I really go to eat are places like Golden Corral, which is not a favorite restaurant. The food is just utilitarian. But I actually like eating there — it's just not one of those places you brag about. And that Italian restaurant on Frankfort Avenue. What's it called?" The writer pulls out her phone for a quick Google search. DiFabio's? "No, no. It's like O'Shea's: family-friendly and good food. I like their fish and chips." The Irish Rover? "That's it!" — Taylor Killough In every great joint there is a place. It is the owner's spot or, if the owner is otherwise occupied, the territory of the bar's alpha patron. It is where Bogart stood in Casa- blanca, or Patrick Swayze in Road House, with a view of the room but, somehow, out of the way. Jack Fry's has a seat like that — against a wall of ancient Thoroughbred photos at the far end of the short bar. In the most elegant speakeasy in town, the last barstool is wedged into a broom closet-size space between the bar and a romantic booth for two. Ordering another round takes only a nod: Old Forester, rocks, in a heavy glass that fits my hand as if it were carved just for me. In that place I feel very much like the man Gay Talese described in his 1966 Esquire profile "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold": "It was obvi- ous from the way Sinatra looked at these people in the poolroom that they were not his style, but he leaned back against a high stool that was against the wall, holding his drink in his right hand, and said nothing." That's me! That's what I feel like! (Minus the disdain for my fellow patrons.) I lean back against the high stool and put my elbow up on the padded bar, the din of con- versation, laughter and forks on fine china obscuring me in a warm fog of noise. It is my place. I have stood there close to the busy center of Jack's film noir dining room without anyone but the bartender paying me any attention at all. I watched a close friend eat a long, luxurious dinner 10 feet away and might as well have been invisible to him. I've called a waiter over to shuttle a request and a neatly folded bill to the piano player — Sinatra always, "The Way You Look Tonight" usually. Perhaps I will see you there. Hopefully you won't see me. — Tom Johnson CHANNELING SINATRA WHERE CHUCK EATS

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