Business Spotlight: Bearno’s Pizza
“Bearno’s is my favorite pizza, and it took an hour and a half or longer to get a Bearno’s pizza delivered to my new home,” Lamkin says. “A buddy and I were talking one day, and I decided we needed to fix the problem.”
A few phone calls and some planning later, and Lamkin, along with his partner Eric Liedtke, was in agreement to open a new Bearno’s sports bar concept, Bearno’s 502, with two east end locations.
The first location opened at the site of the former Loui Loui’s Detroit Style Pizza at 10212 Taylorsville Road in mid-November, just 200 yards away from the original Taylorsville Road location. After operating for several months, the 4,500 square foot restaurant closed over the winter to undergo some cosmetic updates and reopened under new management in March.
“We have replaced our manager and added and enhanced our staff to improve the client experience and consistency so we can be the best Jeffersontown has to offer,” Lamkin says.
The second location opened at 801 S. Hurstbourne Parkway next to Barnes & Noble on March 5th after a $500,000 renovation to the 2,500 square foot space.
Both locations are under the management of Gregg Acree, who has 17 years of experience with Buffalo Wild Wings, managing more than 11 locations. Around 60 employees will be hired across the two restaurants.
“We are excited to bring this wealth of experience and commitment to service to Jeffersontown,” Lamkin says. “Gregg Acree is excited and looking forward to serving the residents of J-Town and committed to making Bearno’s the number one brand in our community.”
In addition to more than two dozen 65-inch high-definition televisions, each location will have a full-service bar. Despite the sports bar design, there will still be an emphasis on family-friendly fun, and the owners think it will be a great place for east end families to enjoy a pizza and catch a game. Delivery, carry-out and dining room eating options will also be rolled out at both locations.
“We’ll be the place in town, in my opinion, when any sporting contest, game or event is on, you’ll want to come to Bearno’s J-Town,” Lamkin says. “That’s my goal.”
The menu will largely remain the same as an original Bearno’s, with some different appetizer options. The owners see the Bearno’s 502 concept as a competitor to Buffalo Wild Wings.
“We aren’t doing anything to the pizza,” Acree says. “Just throwing a little flair on the menu.”
One of the new items Acree is excited to unveil is the Mama Bearno’s Bloody Mary.
“We are taking a bloody Mary mix and throwing some secret items in, then garnishing it with pepperonis and olives,” he says.
Popular menu items like the Mama Bearno’s Special, which the company says is Louisville’s number one selling pizza, will be available for order alongside other delicious Italian dishes. Mama Bearno’s Special is a monster of a pizza, coming fully loaded with sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, black olives, green olives and topped with mozzarella cheese.
Other Bearno’s favorites include the Garlic Cheese Stix (a 10-inch pie buttered and topped with mozzarella, seasoned and baked to perfection, and served with a side of Bearno’s own sauce), Chicken Parmesan Sandwich and the Spaghetti and Penne pastas.
Both Bearno’s 502 locations will feature expanded beer selections, with 20 beer taps at Jeffersontown and 12 at Hurstbourne. Offerings will rotate and include craft beers and domestics.
There will also be live music on specified nights to add to the entertainment and atmosphere.
While the two new locations are just a few miles from one another in the east end, the owners see it as an opportunity.
“This area has a large delivery territory that I think will be better served by the presence of two restaurants,” Lamkin says.
Bearno’s President Rob Mooney, whose family opened the original Bearno’s 40 years ago, is excited to carry on his family’s tradition with the new concept. Mooney and two of his college roommates bought the chain more than 20 years ago and have operated it ever since.
“I love the energy this group is bringing to the new concept,” says Mooney, a Jeffersontown resident. “We love the Bearno’s 502 concept that they’re bringing to the table. I don’t know if we can replicate that at all of our stores, but the new concept is great for our brand.”
With more than a dozen other Bearno’s locations across the greater Louisville area, Mooney and his ownership partners knew they had a reputation to protect but allowed Lamkin and his team leeway in developing the concept.
“It’s definitely different than what we’ve done in the past, and it’s fantastic,” Mooney says.
The Bearno’s 502 concepts are adding an invigorated feel to a brand that has been a Louisville staple for more than 40 years. Lamkin and his team hope to foster the same community in Jeffersontown, and he is excited to share his favorite pizza with an expanded local market.
“I want J-Town to know that from little league baseball to churches, whenever there’s a need, we’re willing to get involved in the community,” Lamkin says. “I want to be an integral part of the J-Town community. I spend most of my time here, so I want to become a bigger part of the fabric of the community.”
And they plan to stick around for a long time.
“Bearno’s has been around for 40 years, and we want to be around 40 more in J-Town,” Lamkin says.
Now with two convenient east end locations, the operating hours for each location are:
Bearno’s 502 Taylorsville Road is open Monday-Wednesday 11am-11pm, Thursday-Saturday 11am-12am and Sunday 11am-11pm.
Bearno’s 502 Hurstbourne is open Monday-Thursday 11am-10pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-11pm and Sunday 12pm-9pm