Mother's Day caps Triple Crown for Kentuckiana restaurants - News, Weather & Sports

Mother's Day caps Triple Crown for Kentuckiana restaurants

John Varanese John Varanese
T.J. Oakley T.J. Oakley

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Mothers - and their love - are priceless.

But the National Retail Federation figures Americans will spend just shy of $20 billion to show them that this Mother's Day.

That works out to about $162 per mom. Two-thirds of that will go toward Sunday brunch or dinner.

For Kentuckiana restaurateurs, that's the last leg of dining's Triple Crown, following Easter and Derby weekends.

"You take your busiest week of the year and you follow it by your second-busiest," said John Varanese, chef and owner of the restaurant that bears his name on Frankfort Avenue.

"We're grateful that Mother's Day wasn't on Derby weekend as well," said T. J. Oakley, manager of the downtown Bristol Bar & Grille.

Mother's Day turns up the heat, regardless.

"Last night with graduation and prom the night before, you just have to push your staff just a little bit more," Varanese said.

And break 22 dozen eggs, too.

"We're doing a couple of different Benedicts - one with crab cakes and lobster hollandaise, the other one beef tenderloin with a truffle hollandaise."

Making sure all is right, for mothers such as Joyce Wright.

"I didn't know I was coming here," Wright said.  "My kids planned it."

Varanese expected to serve 500 for Mother's Day. The downtown Bristol expected about 800.

"This really is a chance to showcase and show what we offer every week," Oakley said. "So it's very important that we do things exactly right."

"If you can't give them a quality experience in service at the beginning then, what's the point of having them come through the doors in the first place," Varanese asked rhetorically.

He and Oakley believe that consistency begets quality and loyalty.

Bristol regular Jennifer Spies would agree.

"I was a server all through college, so I know the drill," she said, as she balanced her children's plates on her left arm.  "We live close. It's the best brunch in town. The kids love it."

Similar sentiments drew Katie Wright back to Varanese too.

"Mom and I actually do all the things together," Wright said. "We're foodies and we try to get out as often as we can, and this was our recent most favorite restaurant that we've been to."

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