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    Jackknife Café - Jackknifed Cold Smoked Salmon
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    Just blocks away from downtown Louisville, is the little area of Louisville, known as Butchertown. The neighborhood is getting national attention these days, and one place in particular is the Butchertown Market on Story Ave. Built in the early 1880’s this building has been home to several operations beginning with a leather tanning operation. It is now a large retail space housing well known establishments such as Work the Metal, Bourbon Barrel Foods and Cellar Door Chocolates. Most recently, a new establishment is under construction, rounding out the building with the one business the Butchertown Market is missing, a place to stop and sit down for lunch. We won’t have to wait much longer. Expectations are for The Jackknife Café to open between the middle and end of September.

    I was able to snag an interview with James Tillett, who is part of the operation. James said building owner Andy Blieden and Jack (owner of Work the Metal) reached out to Erika Chavez-Graziano of Cellar Door Chocolates about a possible restaurant operation in the building. James said, “We (Erika and I) have known each other for 7 or 8 years and have had a mutual interest in food and a mutual admiration of each other’s cooking. We had catered events and parties together and long talked about taking it to another level. We had considered the pop up restaurant and considered expanding into catering services, but nothing ever quite fit for both of us.” So, when Erika mentioned this new venture to James, he knew this was their opportunity! James said the name Jackknife came about because “it’s edgy, easily pronounceable, and we thought it would be a marketable name.”

    I asked James to give us an idea of what the menu will look like. He said one thing that will really set them apart from other cafes in town will be the prices and portion sizes. There will be a variety of $4 sandwiches, soups and salads that can be mixed and matched for the perfect lunch combo. Some traditional menu items will include: a Smoked Turkey Sandwich with Havarti and homemade hummus and a Ham and Cheese Sandwich with thinly sliced country ham, homemade pimento cheese and a fresh slice of tomato. Some of the more eclectic lunch fare will include the Chorizo and Queso Fresco Torta (a Mexican style sandwich) with a smoky, peppery sauce, shredded lettuce, tomato, minced onion and cilantro. In addition to that, there’s the “Fried Bologna” which takes many of us way back, but this non-traditional version starts with a crispy slice of mortadella, topped with aged cheddar and homemade bourbon barrel ale mustard. A smoker will be fired up on certain days with bourbon barrel oak wood, so they can offer items such as the Carolina Style Pulled Pork Sandwich and Hot Pastrami on Rye with bourbon barrel mustard. The menu will rotate based on seasonal offerings, the perfect farm to fork concept Louisvillians love. I know my mouth is officially watering and I cannot wait until they open their doors.

    Jackknife Café will be a counter service restaurant serving breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday. They plan to be open around 8 A.M. and lunch will start around 11:00. The kitchen will close at 3:00, but sodas, coffee, tea, beer and wine and some to-go food items will be available for purchase until 6 P.M. for the Butchertown Market patrons. Make sure to go out and support this local establishment.

    To stay updated on the opening and progress of Jackknife Café, check out the Facebook page,

    Photos: Courtesy of Jackknife Cafe

    Kristin Smith's picture

    About Kristin Smith

    I am a food writer for, as well as the creator of my own blog "Blue Cheese on the Side Please." I live daily in the wonderful world of Employee Benefits Insurance, but I use food writing, cooking and traveling as my escapes.

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