Varanese has been proudly bringing creative, fresh cuisine and nightly live jazz music to the Clifton neighborhood for almost a decade. Since its opening in August of 2007, over 500,000 people have been served at Varanese. To celebrate this 10 year anniversary milestone, the team at Varanese has planned a community party and a special dinner.
The 10th Anniversary Celebration will be held on Sunday, August 20th from 5:00pm-11:00pm and will feature live music by Jeff Sherman’s 4-piece jazz band and special guest vocalist Gail Wynters, whose star-studded career includes touring with Roy Orbison, critically acclaimed performances in New York City, and appearances on several national TV shows.
Guests can also enjoy half price bottles of wine and appetizers, complimentary cake, and a champagne toast at 9:00pm.
Local artist Petersen Thomas will capture the essence of the festivities live on site by creating a large painting over the course of the evening. The piece will be placed on silent auction at Varanese through Sunday, August 27th, and all proceeds will benefit APRON Inc., an organization that provides temporary financial relief to Louisville-area culinary professionals who are experiencing financial distress due to illness, injury or other issues.
Before it became Varanese Restaurant in 2007, the property was home to The Red Lounge, and prior to that it was Bayer and Driesbach Body Shop. Originally it was built in 1956 as Gulf Gas station, complete with auto bays. In total, Varanese underwent a $370,000 renovation before its opening, including the bays being converted with custom built retractable glass walls to create a four seasons patio. The restaurant also underwent a second round of improvements several years later which included the addition of two private dining room. All of this work was designed to keep the integrity of the 60-year-old building intact as it’s located in the Clifton historic preservation district.
Varanese has always featured locally sourced products and highlighted the use of bourbon in the menu. The regular menu remains fairly consistent, and more creative courses are offered in the nightly specials and in the monthly wine, bourbon and beer dinners.
Chef and Owner John Varanese attributes the restaurant’s success to several things, one being his tenured team of staff. Both Executive Chef Erik Abraham and General Manager David Allen have been with the restaurant since shortly after it opened in 2007.