Darnell ‘Superchef’ Ferguson takes his culinary talents to west Louisville

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 5:01 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - When Darnell “Superchef” Ferguson had a plan for his latest restaurant, he said his usual investors said putting it in west Louisville was a bad idea.

“They did demographics (research) on the area,” Ferguson said. “They were like, ‘Darnell, that’s not the best place to open up this restaurant.’ They were like, ‘When you get a better location, let me know.’”

But at 1219 West Jefferson, Ferguson’s new creation Tha Drippin Crab will soon bring sit-down dining to the Russell neighborhood.

“The problem’s not that the West End doesn’t have any money to spend on food,” Ferguson said. “The problem is there’s no food to buy, so that’s the issue. People in West End have the money. They’re going and eating everywhere. They just don’t have nothing in their neighborhood.”

Ferguson’s plan for success counts on more than local customers. Whether others will venture out of traditional comfort zones to dine west of 9th Street is the question at hand.

“What I want to do is, you can have a valued restaurant like you do in Indiana across the bridge that sells crab legs, like you do in the East End that sells crab legs,” Ferguson said. “And we can do that here and we don’t have to say this is the cheapened down version of it. The biggest risk is will people come down and not just from the west end.”

It is a risk Ferguson seems eager to take. In an industry where profit margins are already slim and doors closing are a common sound, Ferguson said he defines failure as never having tried.

“The West End isn’t on my shoulders,” he said. “I’m just trying to play a small part, and if it doesn’t work, that doesn’t mean someone else can’t come after me and make it happen.”

Tha Drippin Crab is scheduled to have a soft opening Oct. 14 and will start accepting reservations on Oct. 20.

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