Tag Archives: Josh Keown

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The Athlete Next Door | Josh Keown

Josh Keown, 40, of Louisville 

Art Director for Pizza Today magazine and Digital Coordinator for Comedy Central’sTosh.0 screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-6-53-11-pm

Where do you workout? 

Home four days a week and ProFormance Health and Wellbeing one to two days a week.

What is your weekly fitness routine? 

After a few years of Crossfit, I went back to basics this year. I started working out at home. All you need is a few pieces of equipment and the willingness to get uncomfortable in your comfortable home.

screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-6-53-02-pmMY ROUTINE 

Every day: 10 minutes of mediation, 3 rounds of Wim Hof breathing and Egoscue movements to get the body/mind primed for the day

Monday and Friday: 250 pushups, 75 strict pull-ups, 200 squats, 150 situps

Tuesday: A lot of shoulder work. Weightlifting and mobility because I have suffered a few dislocations in my right shoulder

Wednesday: Punching the heavy bag for six rounds and rowing at ProFormance

Thursday: Leg work and I will mix that in with some fun arm sets

Saturday: Trail run and a few hill sprints

screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-6-53-07-pmWhat about your diet? What’s it like? 

I’m always asked why I don’t weigh 1,000 pounds since I work for Pizza Today, a national magazine geared toward the pizza industry. I limit myself to pizza once a week. I keep it simple. Find healthy foods that you like and eat them every day. I start each day with a protein smoothie that I make at home. Lunch will consist of a chicken breast and bag of frozen vegetables that are easy to heat up in the break room. Dinner is usually more fun with homemade tacos or gluten free pasta.

What compelled you to change how you approached your health? 

I always enjoyed working out, but I also liked wine and eating out six days a week. I wasn’t seeing any results. Then I started educating myself on nutrition and mindset. It was a game changer and since I started cleaning up my diet and meditating, things have slowly started moving in the right direction.

How differently do you feel at 40 as opposed to when you were 30? 

I definitely feel better physically, but the biggest difference is my mindset going into 40 versus 30 is I’m way more focused and happy.

What advice do you have for others? 

Patience. Be patient with yourself. If you start a program and you have a bad day or week. Don’t quit. Get back up. Be consistent. 

Incorporate small changes into your lifestyle. If you try to overhaul everything on a Monday, you’ll be back to your old ways by Tuesday night. Start with trying a new healthy breakfast for a few weeks. Then move to lunch, and so on. Start hanging out with people who inspire you to be better. Get rid of the friend who tries to drag you down. Keep it simple. Even if you have zero equipment and no gym membership you can have an amazing workout. Just get to moving and break a sweat.

BREATHE. Be conscious of your breath. A few times a day sit up straight and take ten deep inhales/exhales. You notice the tension you have in your shoulders will fade away. Around 3pm every day when I start to feel a little tired I will find an upbeat song and breath to the beat. It’s an instant pick-me-up.

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A Taste of So IN | Gospel Bird

Take me to Church

Gospel Bird: more Than ‘Just a chicken Place’

By Mandy Wold Detwiler | Photos by Josh Keown

Restaurateur Eric Morris didn’t set out to open a chicken joint when Gospel Bird landed in New Albany in February 2016. The fledgling restaurant’s owner has a storied history amongst Kentuckiana restaurants, having begun his career as a dishwasher at Mark’s Feed Store, putting in time at Café Emily, serving as sous chef at Seviche, and spearheading the now-closed Loop 22 and the wildly popular Game and Hammerheads.

tsi2“Loop was a menu that I created that was Southern influenced,” Morris says. “There’s a lot of chicken and just Southern food in general. There are dishes (at Gospel Bird) that are pretty much the same as they were at Loop. That’s where I honed in on my own and what I enjoyed to cook.”

After Loop 22 closed, Morris sought a spot for his own restaurant, and “Louisville’s just become so saturated with restaurants,” he says. “It seems like there’s one opening every week. I’m from Louisville and as much as I’d love to have a restaurant there, I kind of saw what was happening in New Albany. It was kind of starting to explode. I saw places like the Dragon King’s Daughter and Quills, and Toast and Wick’s –– all these people that had Louisville restaurants were opening up over here. With The Exchange (Pub + Kitchen) and Feast kind of being the two heavy hitters here that were (helmed) by local boys, you really got to see something different that was going on here … and I wanted to get in early before the boom happened.”

Founded in a large rustic space most famously occupied by The Irish Exit, Morris wanted Gospel Bird to have strong Southern influences right from the start. “My dad’s a big-time hunter,” he says. “And growing up … he’d always take me hunting and fishing from the time I was real little.”

Gospel Bird started with a larger menu and a greater focus on higher-end dining before Morris quickly recognized his clientele as less formal and looking for quality food at a good price. With a farmer’s market just steps behind the restaurant, Morris paired down his menu to a set of staples and chose to add seasonal offerings. “You have a lot more fun, fresh food to play with,” he says. “It naturally builds, because you’re like ‘Oh, man! They’ve got this great eggplant!’ Or ‘These beets or collard greens are coming in.’ Your menu just naturally gets bigger and bigger.”

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With the restaurant’s given name paying homage to the perennial post-church service fried chicken, the dish does take center stage on Gospel Bird’s menu. “The plan was never to be a fried chicken place,” Morris says. “That wasn’t the goal at all. The goal was to be a Southern restaurant. … People around town as we starting building it started calling us ‘the chicken place.’ When we first opened, we only had one fryer. We hadn’t planned on doing too much of that stuff. The more buzz (we got) around town … we realized we don’t want to sell them what we want. We want them to buy what they want. So we kind of became a fried chicken place. That’s been our staple, obviously.”

Did Morris know Gospel Bird was a concept that would work well in downtown New Albany?tsi “Definitely,” he says with confidence. “I’m about to open a seafood restaurant down the street ––Hull and High Water. Kind of the reason I’m moving to seafood is the same reason I did this. It’s filling something that’s not here. Obviously, I wouldn’t come over here and do pizza and burgers, or anything like that.

“As far as some good, high-end Southern cooking, there wasn’t any in Southern Indiana and it’s almost like taking country food to country folk. … People mistake this place as being fancy. You look at the menu (and) a half chicken is massive and it’s $12. When we came out of the gate with the first menu, it was fancy. I had an executive chef in here who was extremely talented –– his resume included places like The Oakroom. We learned our demographic very quickly. We changed our menu nine times the first year. We’ve really learned to hone in on what people expect of us. The first four months we were open, we had two-hour waits and were slammed all the time. Part of that was being a new restaurant in the honeymoon phase.”

It was during last summer that Morris saw his business taper off as customers sought lighter fare as the weather turned warmer. “In the winter months, we do more hearty food, soul food,” Morris says, “a lot of smoked items (like) brisket, roasted chicken, shrimp and grits –– big, hearty comfort foods. And now with spring coming, it’ll be 60 percent different from what it is now.”

The spring menu will feature less fried items, vegetables pickled in-house (including a pickled vegetable shrimp jar) and a beet salad. “There will be a lot of new items on there that are light,” Morris says.

Morris expects the new squash and zucchini fries to sell well at under $7 –– they’ll be lightly fried and tossed with garlic and Parmesan. There will be more seafood options as the weather turns warmer, including Bluefin tuna, oysters, stuffed trout and salmon.

Chicken salad also will be available at $8 with a side dish. “People at lunch seem to really, really love that,” Morris says.

A full bar is available at Gospel Bird. “With Southern food, we’ve got to have our bourbon,” Morris says. “It makes sense all around to have (a full bar) because we can have signature cocktails, and we can cook with it.”

Historic downtown New Albany is restaurant-friendly when it comes to applying for a liquor license, and getting a full liquor one over simply serving beer and wine was easier in Indiana than it was in Louisville. Although Gospel Bird does accept reservations, the restaurant fills up quickly at night. The bar seating –– and signature drinks –– is just an extra component that makes the restaurant attractive to potential diners.

tsi3Morris added a patio last summer to the backside of Gospel Bird; the focal point is a 1968 Airstream that has been converted to a bar. This summer, he’ll add an outdoor turf with lawn chairs, giving the restaurant a casual atmosphere for friends to gather outside and have a drink.

“The idea of this place is that it’s meant to be loud, honky-tonk Southern fun,” Morris says. “Come in with your friends. We have really good food, but we still want to stay true to the southern tradition of people getting together. You get together with some friends, you have some beers, you have some ribs. We’re not a fancy restaurant, and we don’t want to be. We just want to be a place that serves really, really good food that’s inventive but in no way pretentious.”

What’s to eat? Gospel Bird’s appetizers range from $6 to $10, while entrées are priced from $20 to $23. The most popular appetizer is the Idgie and Ruth ($7), fried green tomatoes named after the main characters in the feature film of the same name.

Amongst the restaurant’s signature chicken offerings are Thunder Thighs (two boneless, skinless chicken thighs at $10) and a half chicken (a breast, wing, thigh and leg at $12). For $2 more, guests can enjoy all white meat. The Yardbird ($13) is a fried chicken sandwich with bacon, cheddar, slaw and signature “gospel” sauce.

The cauliflower grits ($5) is one of the restaurant’s biggest sellers, so Morris is adding sweet potato grits using a little ginger and allspice to the menu. “We smoke and cure our own house-made bacon,” so we finish (the grits) with a little bit of chopped bacon on top of it.”

Gospel Bird
207 E. Main St.
New Albany

812.725.1054

Reservations accepted

www.orderthebird.com

Monday: CLOSED

Tuesday-Saturday:

Lunch 11 am to 2 p.m.

Dinner 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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New Albanian Brewing Company is now Thriving in Two New Albany Locations

he downtown café serves burgers with and without meat. The pizzeria still flourishes after 30 years in business.

By Steve Kaufman | Photos by Josh Keown

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One of the bittersweet aphorisms of the restaurant business is that everyone wants to open a restaurant – until they open a restaurant.

So, give some credit to two Southern Indiana sisters, Amy Baylor and Kate Lewison, for opening their own new restaurants – twice! (Actually, more than twice, as you’ll see.) They’ve done it again recently with their New Albanian Café & Brewhouse on Bank Street in the middle of Bustling New Albany. If you recognize the name, or the sisters, from the popular pizza place – the New Albanian Brewing Company Pizzeria & Public House, on Plaza Drive off Grantline Road – you’re right. But this new concept is about as far from pizza and beer as sausage and cheese can get from tofu and ground cashews.

pizzabeer1Don’t stop reading here, carnivores. The café also has some of the best (real) burgers in town, plus bacon and chicken from local producers.

It’s all part of the journey, the on-and-off-the-adventure-train, that Amy and Kate have ridden for 30 years.

As teenagers, their parents, Sharon and Richard O’Connell, took over a failing pizza joint on Plaza Drive in New Albany, called The Noble Roman, in 1987. Over time, they turned it into the local institution, the New Albanian Brewing Company Pizzeria & Public House. (After the grind of building and running such a consistently good venture for 30 years, they’re entitled to every word of that long name on the awning.)

The amazing thing, looking back, is that this wasn’t a restaurant family. Richard had been managing the building for the owners – as well as their used car lot – and Sharon worked for the phone company.

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It was hard work for everyone, not least for the girls.

“I always say, the best thing my father ever did for me was buy a pizza restaurant, and the worst thing my father ever did for me was buy a pizza restaurant,” Amy said. “Kate and I missed out on our entire high school life. We had to go in every day and make the dough and wash the dishes. And when we weren’t in the restaurant, we had to carry around a pager in case someone called in sick.”

The hours were so long, Amy recalled, “I was voted ‘most likely to fall asleep in class.’ ”

“We were 24/7 for so many years,” said Kate, “we missed every Christmas and Thanksgiving.”

“A lot of people who open a restaurant think they like to cook,” said Amy. “You like to cook? You’ll pretty much have to give that up and be a babysitter, a plumber, a janitor, an accountant, a repairman, (a human resources) executive.”

Some form of that ought to be at the top of every new restaurant contract.

So, new restaurant? Never again! Which is why, in 1989, Amy decided to open a barbecue joint in an adjoining spot, called Rich O’s. (“After my dad.”)pizza4

What? Why?

“I got weary of being called in all the time, so I thought owning my own place next door would be the answer to that,” Amy said. “Yeah, right! Now I was putting in 12- to 14-hour days in my own place.”

What she also did at that time, though, was pursue an interest in craft brewing. That led to the name change – New Albanian – and to a new direction for the business.

The sisters invested in a small brewery in Sellersburg, which failed. “But we bought the equipment,” said Amy, “and now it made sense to go into the brewing business, if only to brew for our restaurant.”

New Albanian was the 13th commercial microbrewery in Indiana when it started. Today, there are 147. “We just got voted the ‘Number One Local Beer in Indiana’ by RateBeer.com,” Kate reported.

That led, eventually, to opening the New Albanian Brewing Company Café & Brewhouse on Bank Street.

breadsticks1“Originally, this was not intended to be a restaurant at all, just a production brewery with a little tap room,” Amy said. “Mostly, the beer brewed here would go directly to the pizzeria, and we’d use the front part of the building as a tasting bar – but no food.”

That was the plan. But their third partner, Amy’s then-husband, took the idea and ran with it.

“He never thought what we did at the pizzeria took any work, he thought all you had to do was hire people,” she said. “So I said, ‘OK, you open the restaurant down there and you can see what it’s all about.’ But I figured, he was our partner, he’d take care of whatever needed to be done.”

Pretty soon, there was a chef and a sous chef, and the tap room had spiraled into “a whole crazy French gourmet thing.” And another failed experiment.

“The café had more to do with my ego, not fully understanding that we were getting into something different,” Amy ruefully admitted. “I naively thought we were doing so well with our pizzeria, it would translate well into this new entity. But it was, in fact, a different business and a different concept at a different location.

“So we didn’t have the best reason for starting it, and it was at the worst time in the economy you could ever want.”

Rocky road is more than just an ice cream flavor.latte

“It knocked us off our high horse and made us start over from scratch,” Amy said.

They went through some weird attempts to pair food with their beers. They tried to arrange for food trucks to stop outside.

They tried pop-up chefs. They hooked up with “another guy who thinks all you have to do in the restaurant business is cook food,” said Amy.

Then they got lucky.

Enter Stacie Bale, a grammar-school friend of the sisters’ who had gone into the restaurant business herself, running the innovative Earth Friends Café on East Market Street for a few years, which she had to close, as well as one in the Kentucky International Convention Center, which closed around her when the center began a three-year overhaul.

“I felt like the universe kept punching me in the gut,” said Stacie. The sisters could relate.

“Kate and Amy came into the convention center one day to thank me for serving their beer,” Stacie recalled. “From then, the wheels started turning. I shut my business and, within three weeks, we were ready to open here (in New Albany).”

pizza2That was the spring of 2015. Stacie’s concept, a version of the burgeoning farm-to-table movement, was all local produce and meats.

Want a burger? It’s the finest quality meat from a local farm. Want a veggie burger? “We have a bacon cheddar cheeseburger that’s entirely vegan,” Stacie proclaimed. “We can do that here. They can’t do that anywhere else.”

Want fries with that? “We don’t have a fryer, but we have a whole bunch of sides, and everything is handmade.”

Essentially, said Stacie, “we try to make anything for anybody. I feel, if you have a group of four that comes in, someone’s going to be a vegetarian, someone’s going to be gluten-free, someone might be vegan and the fourth person might be all-meat-all-the-time.

“So we go above and beyond for people,” she said. “But at the same time, you have to keep a pretty simple menu. You can’t have four pages of stuff.”

beercheese1It’s not unlike what Amy recognized about her pizza place years before.

“We never expanded the menu there, we never tried to be everything to everybody. We just concentrated on making what we made as good as possible.”

“It’s just a nice, casual hangout spot. No chef, no sous chef,” said Stacie. “I provide a recipe book and hire people, and they prepare the recipes.” Of course, the beer has also been a cornerstone of the business. “We finally have the tap room we always wanted,” said Kate. In addition to its own New Albanian beers (“I think we have 14 on tap,” she said), the restaurant also offers guest taps from other local craft breweries. There’s no Bud, no Miller.

And so, the pizza place rolls, the craft beer flows, the new place gets its legs and downtown New Albany bustles. “There’s a 200-unit apartment complex being built two blocks away,” said Amy. “We’re the first stop on their walk.

“We’ve already put together a little welcome-to-the-neighborhood package, with a copy of our chickensandwich1menu and a 64-ounce growler for them to come in and fill up.”

It all appears to have come together.

“Amy and Kate have been in one spot for 30 years. They know how to be in one spot for 30 years. And while they were in one spot, I was all over the place. I’ve pulled all that together to run this restaurant. It has allowed me to be smart, to focus on inventory while still pleasing people,” Stacie said.

She’s certainly pleased the sisters.

“I told Stacie, this would not be happening if she were not here,” said Amy. “She came in and recognized all the mistakes we’d made, and turned this place around.”

What’s to eat?

The New Albanian Brewing Company Café & Brewhouse specializes in burgers that pair with the company’s craft beers. The NABC Burger piles on bacon, cheddar cheese, avocado, a fried egg and garlic aioli. The Bacon Cheddar Burger features smoky jalapeno. And everything can be substituted for vegetarians and vegans.

The New Albanian Brewing Company Pizzeria & Public House has a full complement of pizzas, sandwiches, pasta dishes, lasagna, stuffed mushrooms and salads.

Both places feature the company’s full line of craft brews and its homemade beer cheese.

 

New Albanian Café & Brewhouse 

415 Bank St., New Albanychickensandwich1

812.944.2577

www.newalbanian.com/ 
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11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Tuesday through Sunday; Closed Monday

New Albanian Brewing Company Pizzeria & Public House

3312 Plaza Drive, New Albany

812.944.2577

www.newalbanian.com

Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday

through Saturday; Closed Sunday