History

Welcome to the Bristol Bar & Grille. Here’s our history.

‘Somewhere along the way, the Bristol transformed from trendsetter to mainstay. And yet, it can still surprise and delight.” –Louisville Courier-Journal

We are home of the Green Chili Wontons, Louisville’s favorite guilty pleasure. Bristol Bar & Grille has been a staple of the dining scene since 1977. Now with four locations, we are your neighborhood restaurant no  matter what part of town you live, work or play.

Bristol Bar & Grille first opened on Bardstown Road, where updates to that turn-of-the-century building helped in a rebirth in what has become Louisville’s most popular neighborhood. By the late 1980s Bristol Bar & Grille was credited with starting the contemporary food scene in the city according to a former Courier-Journal food editor.

“The beginning of contemporary food in Louisville is sometimes pegged to the opening of the Bristol Bar & Grille on Bardstown Road on Sept. 27, 1977. I wasn’t around then, but the theory goes that the Bristol’s innovations fairly revolutionized the town’s restaurant scene. The management put artichoke hearts in the salad and cracked peppercorns on the steak. It was one of the first restaurants to give atmosphere to a hamburger.”

Our second location opened in the heart of downtown Louisville. Bristol Bar & Grille downtown was one of the first restaurants to move into the historic West Main Street District. It helped spur the revitalization on Main Street. You can also visit us along the Ohio River in Jeffersonville. Our waterfront location offers the best views of Louisville’s skyline. Our East Side location is off North Hurstbourne Parkway.

Green Chili Wontons

Menu items include something for everyone. You will find original selections like the Bristol Burger or our aged, charbroiled New York Strip steak. We serve dishes that have grown into classics. These include Pork Dijonnaise and Theresa’s Sweet Chili Linguine. All our menus feature ingredients sourced from our  local farming partners. These men and women regularly provide products grown, raised and produced in Kentucky and Indiana. Our award-winning Sunday brunch buffet features made-to-order waffles, Weisenberger grits and fried chicken.

Our Master Sommelier Scott Harper crafted an extensive wine menu to pair with each dish. We employ more than two dozen Certified Bourbon Stewards who are on hand to answer any questions about our native spirit.

Come visit at the original Highlands location to see where it all started.