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Robin Garr

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8UP names new GM, Executive Chef

by Robin Garr » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:20 pm

8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen Names Amy Lewis General Manager and Executive Chef Casper Van Drongelen

8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen is excited to welcome a new leadership team to the restaurant- General Manager Amy Lewis and Executive Chef Casper Van Drongelen (photo attached).

A Cincinnati native and University of Cincinnati Alumni, Lewis is no stranger to the Louisville food scene. She was part of the Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse Louisville opening team in 2006. In her 12 year tenure with Jeff Ruby, she was on the opening teams of 10+ restaurants and clubs, handled all of the marketing and PR including the Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment rebrand in the mid 2000’s. Amy handled everything from operations, to recruiting, to helping create successful business models for the brand.

In 2011, Lewis was recruited as the Beverage and Nightlife Director for Tropicana in Atlantic City where she managed 15 bars and nightclubs, five gourmet restaurants, and oversaw 300+ staff. In 2014, she was recruited by Live Nation to open the Mercury Ballroom in downtown Louisville, and quickly became the GM of both Mercury Ballroom and it’s sister property, the Louisville Palace.

Lewis is thrilled to be back in food and beverage taking the helm at 8UP. “I can’t wait to explore new opportunities for this amazing rooftop restaurant and lounge! The view, décor and ambiance are unparalleled in Louisville. I’m confident that through my experience in nightlife, restaurants, entertainment and simply by living in Louisville the past 3 years, I offer unique perspectives to the programming of the restaurant and lounge,” said Lewis

Joining Lewis and leading the innovative culinary team at 8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen is Chef Casper Van Drongelen. Originally from the Netherlands, Van Drongelen has extensive experience in the culinary arena.

A graduate of the Cooking & Hospitality Institute of Chicago, he got his start at Aria Restaurant in the Fairmont Chicago Hotel and quickly moved to Sixteen Restaurant where his restaurant was awarded a Michelin Star. His talent then took him out west as the Sous Chef at Amangiri Resort in Utah and then moved to Hitchcock Restaurant in Washington where he created the menu for the farm to table restaurant. His last stop before Louisville was Head Chef at Chow Restaurant in Oregon, where his focus was on local and sustainable sourcing.

With a passion for local cuisine and tradition, he is looking forward to connecting locally to bring great techniques and flavors from Louisville and other parts of the globe to 8UP. “I’m looking forward to creating an atmosphere at 8UP that is comfortable, where as a team we can create great food and drinks that can be enjoyed by all.”

8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen is located on top of the Hilton Garden Inn (the 8th floor) at 350 West Chestnut Street, Louisville, KY 40202, but can also be reached via a private driveway entrance on 3rd Street offering valet parking and an elevator that spirits patrons right up to 8UP for elevated drinking and dining. 8UP is open for breakfast, dinner, and drinks Monday through Sunday. Reservations are recommended. For more information visit www.8UPlouisville.com, or call 502-631-4180.
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Jay M.

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Re: 8UP names new GM, Executive Chef

by Jay M. » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:34 pm

Is Julie DeFriend still there? If not, does anyone know where she has moved?
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Robin Garr

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Re: 8UP names new GM, Executive Chef

by Robin Garr » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:46 pm

Jay M. wrote:Is Julie DeFriend still there? If not, does anyone know where she has moved?

Jay, I believe she's with Vintner Select, the Cincinnati-based wine distributor.

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