Louisville doesn’t have a lot of diners, but it isn’t far fetched to say that we have an original aesthetic to our eateries. Of course, we have the commercial restaurants that seem to keep multiplying, including Waffle House, IHOP, Dennys, and all that jazz. Despite the growing chain restaurant phenomenon, there is one breakfast diner here that hasn’t failed to impress those looking for a quick bite to eat on Bardstown Road.
A huge leaf hangs above the red corner diner and as you walk in the small, crowded restaurant. The smell of home cooking wafts from the kitchen that is in full view of all the patrons. Locals enjoy a cheap cup of joe while skimming the affordable menu, usually for breakfast despite the full range menu.
Since 1962, Twig and Leaf has been in operation, serving Highlands locals and those across Louisville. Their popular dishes includes “The Original Twig” for $1.75, (a quarter pound burger) or you can order an array of breakfast items including pancakes and tater tots off the extensive a la carte menu.
Recently, there has been talk of taking this staple out of the Louisville culture and demolishing it to make room for another CVS pharmacy. Not only have locals been upset, but there have been protests and petitions signed to keep Twig and Leaf a key part of the mecca of Louisville’s local businesses.
Highlands local Yi Ling Chan was shocked, explaining that Twig and Leaf is more than just a chain business, “I remember my dad and I used to go there for breakfast when I was younger and I still go there with my friends. I love hot browns and I think it’s definitely a huge piece of Louisville. It would take away from the city.”
On November 29, 2010, the Louisville Metro Landmarks Commission reviewed Twig and Leaf to become a historical landmark. The significance of the restaurant is more than just the forty eight years of business. The whole “diner” aspect of the restaurant makes Twig and Leaf one of the few that are still standing. Diners became popular in the early twentieth century as automobiles and road-side eateries, which helped Twig and Leaf evolve into more than just any other restaurant. It has added to the architectural diversity of the Louisville area, but also to the development and cultural context of the Douglass Loop.
So, although our love for Twig and Leaf is unconditional, until March 17, 2011, the community will be questioning whether 2122 Bardstown Road will still be considered one of Louisville’s most famous breakfast diners or just another convenience store.