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    Eat & Swig

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    If it weren’t for the outdoor tables and chairs and bright-orange window paint exclaiming “Breakfast, Sandwiches, Soups!” you might not recognize the otherwise nondescript concrete building on the corner of 18th Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard in the Russell neighborhood as home to a new comfort-food cafe called Sweet Peaches. Inside you'll find a peach-influenced color scheme, seven tables and brightly colored pendant lights. Eleven identical gold-and-black concave impressions of Buddha’s gently smiling baby face greet guests.

    Pamela Haines, 50, opened Sweet Peaches across the street from the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in February. Besides her daughter Alanna, who’s in charge of the dining room, two of Haines’ brothers cook in the back. The west Louisville native says she wants to help solidify a sense of community in Russell. “It’s not just a restaurant,” says Hains, who’s persuing a Ph.D. in conflict management at Sullivan University. “It's a place you can come if you need something.” Haines has worked in restaurants and in catering throughout her adult life, but she mostly learned to cook out of necessity, being the seventh of 15 children. The Hungry Man — turkey, ham, roast beef, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onions and pepper-jack cheese piled between three pieces of bread — is inspired by the sandwiches her eight brothers would make growing up. 

    The club sandwich, couscous soup and rack of freshly baked desserts have been popular. And, of course, so has the peach-flavored sweet tea. When asked about competing with all the restaurant chains on nearby Broadway, Haines says, “I went around and took notes on what all the other restaurants had, to try and come up with something different. Everywhere you go there’s burgers, fries and soul food. That’s when I came up with soups, sandwiches and a little something sweet. I haven’t made a huge profit, but I’m doing what I love.”  

    Article written by Tyler Curth.

    This article appeared in the July 2014 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com. 

    Photo provided by Olivia Harlow. 

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