With the arrival since last fall of Scratch Steakhouse & Lounge, UnHitched Brewing Co., In the Mix Bakery and the tourist-attracting Umbrella Alley, downtown Louisville has become a destination.
“I definitely got here at the perfect time,” said Demond Germany, owner and executive chef of Scratch Steakhouse.
“The city was really looking for a good place to go eat where fresh and vibrant flavors were happening,” he said. “There’s a lot of fast food around, but we actually care about the quality level of the food that we put out. Everybody latched on pretty quickly.”
In March of 2019, Germany’s Northfield-based catering company catered an event at Brookside Farm in Louisville. Later when he saw a real-estate listing for a restaurant in downtown Louisville, he was intrigued. “If the term ‘turn-key restaurant’ ever existed, this was it,” he said. Last September, he opened Scratch at 108 E Main Street.
Q. How much of your business at Scratch is char-grilled steaks?
A. “Probably 70%. We hand-cut our steaks and dry-age them. We have a dry-aged 16-ounce rib-eye and a dry-aged 14-ounce strip, and bone-in versions of both.”
Q. What else is popular?
A. “The champagne chicken and shrimp. It’s a marinated chicken breast that’s grilled and topped with jumbo shrimp and mushroom in a champagne Alfredo sauce, and it’s served over garlic mashed potatoes with our fresh vegetable of the day.”
Q. Do you have any weekly specials?
A. “We’re doing BBQ every Wednesday—smoked brisket, smoked wings and St. Louis-style ribs.”
Q. What was your background in food before Scratch?
A. “I’ve been a GM or executive chef for the past 17 years. I graduated from the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute in 1999. This is my third restaurant. My last one was the South End Saloon in Northfield.”
Q. How did you manage during the COVID-19 shutdown in the spring?
A. “We did carryout the whole time, and we did very well. The community made it a point to let me know on Facebook that they were going to support me throughout. In turn, we made specials that veered off the beaten path. We did beef Stroganoff, fried chicken, beer-battered fish.”
Q. There seems to be positive buzz around Scratch.
A. “A woman just told me it’s the place she’s been waiting for all her life. She’s been living in Louisville a long time.”