Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Louisville Restaurant "Proof" to Open Cincinnati Location

Proof, the renowned Louisville restaurant named in Esquire magazine as a "Best New Restaurant" upon opening in 2006, will open a location in Cincinnati along with the new location of the 21c Museum Hotel. The Cincinnati location of Proof is the first establishment outside the original location at 702 W. Main St. in Louisville, Ky. Proof and the 21c Museum Hotel were established by philanthropists and arts patrons Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson with the mission to help revitalize the downtown area of Derby City, and it is with the same philosophy that they will restore the former Metropole Hotel at 609 Walnut Street to house their newest project. Restoration is expected to begin in fall 2010.

Proof, headed by Chef Michael Paley, offers acclaimed cuisine paired with warm, professional service, exciting art-driven design and affordable prices. Inspired by the culinary traditions of Italy and the American South, Paley's menu celebrates the bounty of the region's sustainable farmers and producers. In addition to the honor they earned from Esquire, the eatery has garnered acclaim in such notable publications as Wall Street Journal, Travel + Leisure and Food and Wine. In 2009, the 21c Museum Hotel was selected as the #1 hotel in the United States and #6 hotel in the world in the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards, and Proof garnered the highest score in the country in the dining category.

Paley will work with President and CEO Michael Bonadies and Vice President Sarah Robbins to establish the kitchen at Proof in Cincinnati and, in the process, bring the same philosophy of farm-to-table eating and the accessible, affordable culinary experience to the new location. Chef Paley has extensive experience in building relationships with farmers in and around Louisville, and he will be working with Cincinnati-area producers to bring the freshest seasonal flavors to the new Proof location. A cutting edge wine list as well as Proof classics like the Kentucky Bison Burger and the house-made garden relishes will be available at the Cincinnati Proof location, along with new creations as the menu is updated seasonally based on local agriculture.

"The city of Cincinnati is centrally located near a variety of truly great food producers who really care about the integrity of heirloom produce and artisanal products," says chef Paley. "I am already inspired by what the region has to offer, and I look forward to adding some variety to my repertoire as I oversee the Cincinnati menu from my kitchen in Louisville."

The Lounge at Proof will also reflect the eatery's farm-to-table commitment by utilizing fresh produce and herbs in original cocktail recipes. The drink menu will be refreshed with new additions each season to make use of the best ingredients available. The creative beverage program, along with an inventive and affordable bar menu, will make the Lounge at Proof a casual dining destination.

"Proof and the 21c Museum Hotel have become essential destinations for both visitors to and residents of Louisville," says Wilson. "People come for the food and stay for the art, or vice versa. The hotel, museum and restaurant facilitate great conversation, offer new and exciting flavors and feature unsurpassed hospitality. We are thrilled to establish this cultural destination in Cincinnati."

Art at Proof
Special exhibitions and installations weave into the fabric of the restaurant and bar, with works of art filtering into both public spaces and unexpected places. Works presented to date have included paintings, sculpture, photography, video and installation art by both emerging and established artists. Artists featured have included Ellen Kooi, Elena Dorfman and Anthony Goicolea. The artists presented at Proof have exhibited their work in galleries and museums across the United States, Europe and Asia.

The 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville is designed by Deborah Berke & Partners Architects, who is also serving as design architect for the Cincinnati project. Berke will be collaborating with Alan Weiskopf of Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel, a firm noted for their significant experience in historic preservation projects, who will serve as executive architect.

Berke's other work includes projects for the James Hotels in Chicago and Scottsdale, the Yale School of Art & New Theater and the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York. Berke was named an "Emerging Voice" by the Architecture League of New York in 1993, and her residential project, Baron Loft, won an AIA New York Chapter Design Award in 2001. She was a finalist for the 2008 National Design Award for Interior Design, an award is given by the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt Museum for exceptional and exemplary work in domestic, corporate, cultural or interior design.

Proof Team
In addition to Brown and Wilson, the other principals of 21c Museum Hotels and Proof include President and CEO Michael Bonadies, Vice Chair Craig Greenberg, Vice President and COO Chett Abramson and Vice President Sarah Robbins. Before joining 21c Museum Hotels, Bonadies, Abramson, and Robbins were part of the Myriad Restaurant Group. Myriad has built a national reputation for innovative food and dining with such acclaimed restaurants as Nobu, Montrachet, Tribeca Grill, and Rubicon.

The Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) has agreed to purchase the Metropole Hotel and intends to work with Louisville-based 21c Museum Hotels LLC to renovate it to its original purpose as a hotel.

The 3CDC is a private, non-profit corporation. Its mission is to revitalize Cincinnati's Center City as a regional center of high-value employment and real estate by developing a diverse mix of housing, cultural attractions and entertainment. It was formed in July 2003 as part of the overall system to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of development activities in the City as recommended by The Cincinnati Economic Development Task Force. 3CDC is funded privately through business contributions, foundations and other philanthropic sources. For more information, visit

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