For seventy years or so, comfy and homey Kaelin’s was a fixed star on the Louisville culinary scene. It claimed to have invented the cheeseburger, an assertion that may have seemed unlikely but was actually true. Completing its iconic image was the bright sign out front: “If you can’t stop, please wave.”
Kaelin’s is gone now, alas. The Kaelin family sold it a few years back. But the new tenant – Mulligan’s – still turns out a mean cheeseburger, and they kept the sign, so when you drive by, please feel free to wave.
On the other hand, there’s plenty of reason to pull in, park and come on in. It’s changed a bit, with a large bar as the center of attention now, and wood decor that’s cozily dim even on a sunny day, but comfort food – including a $6.95 cheeseburger – is still a mainstay.
The menu offers a wide selection of bar munchies and down-home lunchies, with prices topping out at $13.95 (for a fried or baked cod dinner or a 12-ounce grilled rib eye). A retro delight, old-fashioned roast beef served open-face on white bread with homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, is $8.95.
Our party recently settled in on the shaded patio on a mild afternoon and loaded up on a crispy fried cod sandwich with onion rings ($9.40), an oversize chicken-salad sandwich ($6.50); a cup of Louisville-style chili ($2.95) and spinach salad ($5.95), and a decent pizza with onions and mushrooms ($9.95). The four of us had a fine meal and got away for $38.91 plus tip.
Mulligans Pub and Grill
1801 Newburg Road