The Cohen Family bids you farewell... 

The Cohen Family bids you farewell... 

But don't worry, The Empire is here to stay.  

 Dear Lovely Louisville,

 It is with a very heavy heart that after nearly 12 years of operating the Empire, we, the Cohen family have decided it is time to pass on operation of our beloved restaurant.  As many of you know, our lives have greatly changed in the last few years.  Jim, founding chef and owner of the Empire had a severe stroke in 2015 that left him with locked-in syndrome and on a long road to recovery.  Thanks to many of you and Jim’s willful attitude he was able to make an unprecedented comeback.  However  he is not able to be in the restaurant to the capacity he wishes due to the disabilities caused by his stroke.  I, Lexi, Jim’s daughter, original face behind the bar and recently acting owner, have started a family of my own in recent years.  With baby number two on the way and a very busy 15-month-old at home, family life has drawn me away from the Empire which has left me unable to give it the attention and love it deserves.  

 While my dad and longtime business partner Ken Wolf will continue ownership of 816 Main Street, we have decided to pass the operations torch to friend and Chef Jeff Osaka alongside his Director of Operations, Michael Burbage. They bring you years of experience in Colorado with 12@Madison, Sushi-Rama and Osaka Ramen and are excited to continue the legacy of The Empire Lounge and Restaurant. You will also still see many of the familiar faces from our staff you've come to know and love over the years.   

 It has truly been a great joy owning the Empire and being a part of this unbelievably special community that is Louisville. When we opened the doors in 2008, there wasn’t much to Main Street.  Thanks to the hard work of many and continued patronage to Old Town Louisville, we have seen Main St. transform in to the vibrant place it is today.  Having many of the same faces join us week after week, year after year, has made owning this restaurant feel like so much more than a business.  We have witnessed many friendships bloom here, little ones grow up, and first dates turn into weddings.  It has been such an honor to have been a part of it all.   

Louisville, we love you dearly. This is not goodbye, but more of a 'see you later,' as you may catch me and my family at the table next to you, enjoying the fruits of our labor. Thanks for the great memories!  We hope to see you again soon!

With lots of Love,

Jim, Lexi, Connie, Hannah, Evvy & Andy 

Whiskey Tour Around the World

1st Stop

Scotland Highlands

Glanfarclas 10 year Highlands scotch

Moxie boule, butter & sea salt

2nd Stop


Suntory Hibiki ‘Harmony’ Japanese whisky

Asian style pickles & arugula salad, orange soy vinaigrette

3rd Stop


Tyrconnell 10 year Irish whiskey

Maple braised, bacon wrapped duck breast & toasted farro

4th Stop

Scotland Islay

Bruiccladdich Port Charlotte Islay single malt scotch

Empire smoked brisket & braised cabbage


Boulder, CO

Deerhammer single malt  

Walnut chocolate truffle 

Valentine's Day 2019

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Say goodbye 2018 - New Years Eve

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Bluebird botannical CBD dinner, Thursday October 18 @ 7:00

Bluebird botannical CBD dinner, Thursday October 18 @ 7:00

Join us for a very relaxing evening at the Empire. Pain free, we promise

4 CBD inspired courses paired with 4 delicious mocktails

First course featuring Hemp Signature

Red Wagon Farm Chiogga & red beet salad, arugula, candied walnuts & goat cheese tossed in Bluebird ‘Hemp Signature’ CBD white balsamic vinaigrette

Second course featuring Hemp Complete

Chicken hemp tempura finished with Hemp Complete lemon caper aioli

Third course featuring Hemp Classic

Sautéed jumbo prawns over Anson Mills farro ‘risotto’ finished with a Hemp Classic coconut butter

Fourth course featuring Hemp Signature

Hemp flour elegant white cake with raspberry Hemp Signature CBD frosting

$42.0 per person

Limited seating available. Reserve your spot today call 303-665-2521 or reserve online (please select the date and then the 7:00 time slot, mention in your reservation notes you will be joining us for the dinner)

ODD13 Beer Dinner Thursday, May 31st @ 7

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Join us for 4 amazing rounds of Empire's super food paired with ODD13's heroic beers.

$45 per person

Reserve your spot today!

1st course

Grilled apple & mozzarella salad paired with N0ob American IPA

2nd course

Beer battered fish bites paired with Duraznodor Berliner Weisse Ale

3rd course

Spiced pork loin & frisee salad with Blucifer Oak Aged Sour Stout

4th course

Candied bacon, walnut & banana crepe with Superfan American IPA

Mother's Day Brunch

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Join us Sunday, May 13th for to celebrate mom.  She deserves it!



Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day


Mezze | deviled eggs, smoked almonds, hummus, olive tapenade & grilled flatbread  17

Charcuterie & artisan cheese | fruit preserves & Moxie toast  21


Empire bacon wrapped figs | goat cheese  9

Fried Brussels sprouts | walnuts, house-cured bacon, mustard vinaigrette & ricotta  12

Tempura fried shrimp | honey drizzle  12

Moxie grilled toast| daily selection 11

Clams |  coconut curry, kale & chorico  13


Crispy calamari | miso balsamic vinaigrette,
frisée & radicchio   17

Kale salad | chili flake, lemon, garlic, breadcrumbs & pecorino  12

Bibb salad | toasted hazelnuts, avocado, cherry tomatoes & parmesan  10

Shaved Brussels sprouts | walnuts & pecorino  12

Golden beet salad | goat cheese, pickled onions, honey roasted cashews, lardons &  raisins  15

Spinach salad | strawberries, candied cashews, pickled ginger, cherry tomatoes, feta champagne vinaigrette  16


Coal miner’s mac & cheese | house-cured pancetta   13

Heirloom tomato & pesto rigatoni | buratta  17

Spicy Thai shrimp & chicken bucatini | chili peppers, chard & coconut curry cream sauce  19

Frutti di Mare fettuccine | clams, mussels, calamari &
shrimp  28


Butternut squash risotto | greens & parmesan 18

Pan seared scallops | asian slaw & miso butter  36 

PEI mussels | tomato garlic broth & braised greens  19

Shrimp & grits| red pepper butter sauce  23 

Southwestern paella| shrimp, mussels, chicken & chorico, jalapeno & roasted red peppers  28

Empire roasted chicken | roasted potatoes, lemon confit, pan drippings & parsley 24

Prosciutto wrapped chicken |rolled with goat cheese, arugula & jasmine rice  26

Grilled flap steak | mashed potatoes, bourbon mushrooms & bleu cheese butter  28

Grilled T-Bone steak | ash roasted sweet potatoes, bleu cheese pecan butter 38





NYE 2018

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First Bite Menu

$29 per person

November 10-18 2017


Choice of one Snack or Salad:

Fried Brussels sprouts | walnuts, house-cured bacon, mustard vinaigrette & ricotta  

Curried clams |coconut curry broth, kale & chorico

House smoked salmon | arugula salad & quinoa cake

Kale salad | chili floke, lemon, garlic, breadcrumbs & pecorino  

Crispy calamari salad| miso balsamic vinaigrette, frisée & radicchio

Golden beet salad | goat cheese, pickled onion, honey roasted cashew, lardons &  raisin

Choice of one Supper:

Butternut squash risotto | parmesan & greens 

Frutti de Mare bucatini | clams, mussels, calamari & shrimp 

PEI mussels | tomato garlic broth & braised greens

Pork ricotta meatballs | tomato sauce, sautéed greens & creamy polenta

Herb & Honey Berkshire pork tenderloin|   Roasted potatoes & charred onion salsa 

Smoked brisket | Roasted potatoes, caramelized onion & Empire barbecue sauce

Choice of one Sweet:

Coconut panna cotta | apple compote

Empire fruit crumble | vanilla ice cream

Ricotta beignets | caramel sauce & vanilla ice cream



Mother’s Day Brunch


Grilled Moxie toast | honey boursin, chopped smoked almonds & fig jam  11

Crepes | fresh berries & champagne whipped cream   12

Stuffed Moxie French toast |-cream cheese and walnut stuffed baguette, cinnamon whipped cream, honey & powdered sugar   12   

Gingerbread waffle | cinnamon whipped cream   12

Smoked salmon Benedict | homefries   15

Cheese & bacon drop biscuits | sausage gravy   12

Duck hash | poached egg, hollandaise   14 

Spinach & chicken frittata | buratta & homefries   14

Steak and egg | homefries   20

Monte Cristo sandwich | swiss, ham, smoked turkey, cheddar with raspberry dipping sauce & homefries   15

Crispy calamari salad | miso balsamic vinaigrette,
frisée & radicchio   16.5

4th Annual Whiskey Dinner featuring A.D. LAWS Distillery

4th Annual Whiskey Dinner featuring A.D. LAWS Distillery

Join us Saturday, March 25th @ 7pm for a wonderful evening of Whiskey!  Alan Law will be joining us along with 5 of his whiskeys for our 4th annual Bourbon dinner.  The cost is $70 per person & reservations are required.  You can make a reservation through our website or by calling 303-665-2521.  If you reserve online please note that you are attending the Bourbon Dinner in your reservations.

Check out A.D. LAWS


The Menu

Cocktail Receptions

Empire craft cocktail featuring A.D. LAWS BOURBON

1st course


Corn fritters, creme fraiche

2nd course


Steak tartare, walnuts, apples & Moxie crostini

3rd course


Duck confit, ash roasted sweet potato & dijon maple glaze

4th course


Hannah's tart

French Wine Importer Dinner

French Wine Importer Dinner

Thursday February 23rd, 7 pm 

4 courses, 5 wines $65 per person

French Wine Importer Dinner

with Josefa Concannon from iconic wine importer Louis-Dressner Selections

Join us for a sublime dining and wine experience with one of the nation’s most pivotal and influential wine importers. Starting in the 1980s, long before most people were concerned about conventional/chemical agriculture, the Louis-Dressner team was focusing on wineries that farmed organically, practiced natural winemaking, and shunned commercial yeast, wine additives, filtration, and other artificial manipulations.


Pork & Pineapple paired with Georges Descombes, Brouilly

Tuna Niciose paired with Domaine de la Pépière, Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine sur Lie

Beef Tenderloin Pot-au-feu paired with Olga Raffault, Chinon Les Picasses & Domaine Filliatreau, Saumur Château Fouquet

Baked brie & preserves paired with Renardat-Fâche, Cerdon du Bugey



Will you be our Valentine?

Join us Valentine's Day, Tuesday, February 14th, for a special menu just for you and your Valentine. 

Make a Reservation

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Dueling Bourbon Dinner

Dueling Bourbon Dinner

Join us April 9th to kick off the Derby season with a Dueling Bourbon Dinner.  We will be pouring 8 bourbons, 4 from the house of Jim Beam and 4 from the house of Sazerac.  Each of these bourbons will be complimented by 8 different plates. Here's the line up of bourbon...

Makers Mark vs W.L. Weller

Basil Hayden vs Buffalo Trace

Knob Creek vs Eagle Rare

Bakers vs Ridgemont Reserve 1792

$65 per person

Reservations are required. Please call us at 303-665-2521 to reserve your spot



We are very excited to roll out our new Spring Menu.  We have brought back some old favorites like Maple grilled duck & goat cheese enchiladas as well as some great new items inspired by the delicious spring produce that we are starting to get from our local farms.  We can't wait to see you!

Our New Website!

Hey everyone,

We are very thrilled to show you our new website. Check out the photos, menus and more. Share in our excitement and come have a drink with us.