The Fox Den opens with billiards, bites, beers and more
Screenwriter / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Twenty-five years ago, Jared Matthews was hired as a bartender at the Diamond Pub and Billiards. Soon after, he was promoted to manager and began booking bands, ordering alcohol, and taking over overall operations. About five years ago, he branched out and started opening restaurants in the area, including Lou Lou Food and Drink, Black Rabbit, and Equus and Jack.‘s Bourbon restaurant and lounge. Even taking on all of these ventures (some in the midst of a global pandemic, no less), Matthews stayed at Diamond to book the bands because music is a huge passion for him. Last fall, however, he had to retire completely to focus on his restoration projects.
“It was bittersweet to leave Diamond because I‘I spent so many years there,” Matthews says. “The saddest thing was to walk away from the music.
Six weeks after Matthews left, he learned that Diamond was closing. The owner, a friend of his, told him he should think about buying the establishment. Matthews did not‘no need to think.
“I jumped on it,” says Matthews, who was eager to give the place a facelift with paint and varnish, and a slight rebrand. As Diamond closed, Matthews announced to the public that he had purchased the place and would reopen it as Fox Den after renovations.
“Diamond’s had been a big part of people‘s been living for so long with tons of regulars so i knew they‘I’m freaking out about the shutdown,” Matthews says. “I wanted them to know that it would reopen with the same concept, only new and improved. This includes chef-led pub-style bites, craft beer and cocktails, live music seven days a week, 11 pool tables, pinball and darts.
He contacted a buddy who is an entrepreneur and told him, “Dude, I have a project for you!”
It wasn’t a lie. In six weeks, they repainted the exterior, repaved the parking lot, redid the terrace and completely renovated the interior. This included installing brand new flooring, removing the drop ceiling, removing wiring that had been hanging for 15 years, and installing pendant lights. In addition, they re-felted the pool tables, revised the menu and enhanced the cocktail menu. The inauguration took place on April 22.
“To be honest, we were still hanging things on the wall as people came through the doors at 3 p.m. for the grand opening, but it was a huge success,” says Matthews. “We had the best night ever‘had in this building. We had two stages, inside and outside. The response from the community has been amazing.
Many people had assumed that Matthews was the owner of the Diamond Pub and Billiards.
“I‘I was there for so long and people affiliated me with this place so they assumed I owned it,” Matthews says. “It was‘t the case, but I‘I’m happy to do it now because there are no strings attached. I can do whatever I want with it. »
The public is delighted to hear it.
Located in the heart of St. Matthews, the Fox Den seats approximately 400 people (indoors and outdoors) and offers live music of all genres, from covers to original tunes. Bands include Radiotronic, Soul Circus, Kevin Cummings & Lauren Eid, Elephant Room, Matt Moore, Some Kind of Saint, and more.
“Most groups play 9 to 1 or 10 to 2, but we‘I’ll go to happy hour gigs,” says Matthews.
Some are Nashville national artists. One of the Matthews‘ bartenders have a band called Devil‘s Cut (named after the bourbon). It’s an original rock band that‘will play one of Danny Wimmer‘s Rock on the Range, so Matthews booked them to play Fox Den to kick off their big tour.
“This‘It’s fun to showcase original music,” says Matthews.
The reason Matthews got into the restaurant business was because he wanted to fully explore his other passion, cooking and creating craft cocktails. One of his signature dishes is the pork belly sous vide tacos. The breakfast burger (including a custom burger, toasted brioche bun, cheddar cheese, sous vide pork belly, apricot jam, and too easy fried egg) is also fantastic. Other popular dishes on the menu include the street corn shrimp tacos with cilantro-lime dip, and the steak quesadilla, grilled with onion, bell pepper, mushroom, tomatoes, pepper and cheddar cheese, served with salsa and sour cream. One of their popular drinks is the Red Dragon Margarita – a spicy strawberry puree. They also have 16 beers on tap.
Matthews developed a love for Cajun cuisine because he was born in Louisiana.
“My parents taught me how to cook,” he says. “I made a lot of crawfish boils for the neighborhood, which was cool.
He then moved to Alabama where he lived until fifth grade, before the family moved to Louisville.
Now he and his wife Rebecca have four children, Ian, 17, Tristan, 15, Lexi, 6 and Foxy, 3. The sports bar‘The name of s was born from the surname. Matthews’ middle name is Fox, just like his uncle‘s. Matthews named his youngest son Jared Fox Jr., but everyone calls him Fox or Foxy for short.
“I always thought the Fox Den would be a cool name for a gastro pub,” says Matthews.
Matthews is a man of faith who supports a number of local organizations that help improve the community. For example, he supports Love City, Inc., whose mission is to empower a movement to love people as they are, Wayside Christian Mission, which addresses the root causes of homelessness using an approach holistic, and Apron Inc., which provides temporary financial relief services to professional food and beverage workers in Louisville who are experiencing financial hardship due to illness, accident or emergency.
“Everything I do I want to be a platform to help others in the community,” says Matthews.
In his spare time, Matthews enjoys playing sports, snowboarding, going to concerts, working out and spending time with his family. He also has a gym and practices mixed martial arts and jiu-jitsu.
Although her children are not‘not old enough to work at the Fox Den, he loves that as teenagers they can work at one of his restaurants.
“You learn a lot working in the service industry,” he says. “I want them to have that experience. I‘I’m not saying they have to have this life, but it’s‘It’s good to have this experience with the public.
Matthews has always enjoyed working in the service industry as he enjoys giving people a moment of escape from reality and the issues they may face.
“They can come here, have a good time with their friends, eat good food, drink a good drink, watch a good band and enjoy life,” he says. “If I was sitting in a cubicle pushing papers, it wouldn’t be rewarding for me. Every day I have the opportunity to serve great entertainment to people. It makes them happy, which makes me happy. This career allows me to make people smile‘faces.
The Fox Den is located at 3814 Frankfort Avenue in Louisville. For more information, call 502-357-7519 or visit thefoxdenlouisville.com. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook to find out about upcoming bands and more.