The Bluegrass Cafe at Derby City Antique Mall

| February 17, 2011

The Bluegrass Cafe at the Derby City Anqitue Mall

If you’re anything like me, your post-new year has been anti-climatic to say the least. Snow, rain and mid-season re-runs have depleted my motivation to do anything beyond passing the remote. These dreary days cause me to seek solace indoors.

In an effort to venture out of the “complete this gift with a personalized engraved message” bubble, I set forth on a trek of gift-giving creativity and found a different kind of mall – Derby City Antique Mall.

The mall, at 3819 Bardstown Road, offers an array of old and hard-to-find items – from vintage jewelry and furniture to sports memorabilia.

Bargain hunters and antique enthusiasts perused displays of Norman Rockwell collector plates, housewares, knick-knacks and an assortment of art. In the midst of practicing my best “Antiques Roadshow” inquiry, I lost my shopping companion to a variety of contest-worthy garb, as he pulled out authentic World War II military uniforms.

Keeping on track, I found a display of dainty antique lace handkerchiefs, and with wedding season fast approaching (I’m attending them in June, July, August and November), I knew I’d come to the right place to check off the “something old” and even the “something blue” boxes.

Derby City Anqitue Mall05Family owned and operated since 1998, Derby City Antique Mall is housed in the refurbished 1920s Hikes Grade School and boasts 170 vendors, 30,000 square feet of booth space and a Victorian eatery – The Bluegrass Cafe, which might have been my favorite find of the day.

The Bluegrass Cafe offers full-service dining and a welcome break from some serious shopping. With homemade soups, salads and sandwiches, it’s like you stepped back in time.

As I settled in a cozy corner, my stomach pains groaned and I immediately placed an order for the chicken and dumplings, anything with “grandma’s recipe” in the description I was willing to try. A generous and warm serving of drop dumplings made from scratch satisfied my first round of eats all for $4.99.

Shopping deals and an affordable meal without switching locations? This was getting better and better. In keeping with the theme of antiques, I went with an old classic – the Reuben. Corned beef, kraut, swiss cheese and thousand island dressing piled high on delicious Rye bread was the perfect energy booster. At $7.99, it was a steal.

Cafe owners Joe and Sharon Ethington have years of experience in the food service industry, and they certainly found a niche at the Derby City Antique Mall. With daily specials, you are guaranteed to leave full, satisfied and completely revived.

The Bluegrass Cafe is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and offers an all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch from noon to 3:30 p.m. for just $8.95. Call (502) 459-2320.

The Derby City Anqitue Mall


Louisville’s most charming mall is home to thousands of old-school treasures and a delicious break from shopping mayhem.


Happy sounds of bargains found and satisfying sighs from relaxing diners.

Dish Everyone knows to order

Great homemade food from real fresh ingredients you really can’t go wrong. Before I chose the chicken and dumplings, I almost went for Frank’s Award-Winning Chili. This seasonal dish is packed with ground chuck, beans and all the right fixins’ for just $4.99.

Dish Not Everyone knows to Order

Original Ham Slammer. Hands down this meaty feast is a classic turned upside down. This warm sandwich is a generous heaping of sliced baked ham piled high on a hoagie roll with swiss cheese and banana peppers ($6.99).

Interesting arcana

The Derby City Antique Mall also has an online store. Talk about modern antiquities. This only helps to enhance my dormant hibernation until the sun officially comes out.

photos by CHRIS HUMPHREYS | Voice-Tribune

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Category: Out & About

About the Author (Author Profile)

Lauren DePaso
Voice-Tribune Staff Writer Lauren DePaso enjoys being a tourist in her own city, exploring the nightlife and cheering on the Cards. A Louisville native, she currently resides in St. Matthews.

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