Kentucky Derby Museum’s new catering partner announces details for Derby Café concept

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The new Derby Café Express and private-event catering are coming to the Kentucky Derby Museum in January 2019.  Both every day and event culinary and hospitality services will be serviced by The RK Group. 

The RK Group will source local products to create a new express dining concept in the Derby Cafe, providing grab-and-go breakfast and lunch items during museum hours Monday-Saturday, including sandwiches, salads, sides and desserts.  

The Derby Café Express will serve hot breakfast sandwiches, parfaits and fresh breakfast pastries, muffins, kolache and bagels, alongside fresh-brewed and iced coffee, smoothies, tea, juices and bottled beverages. Lunch menus will offer a rotating selection of popular deli-style sandwiches, paninis, soups, salads, tabbouli, as well as a variety of cheese trays, fresh fruit, snack packs, and popular options for children. 

The café will also feature a full bar available during business hours featuring more than 50 varieties of bourbon, and will remain a destination on the popular Urban Bourbon Trail.

The Derby Café will close dining for museum guests on Friday, Sept. 28 to undergo renovations and will reopen under the new concept Monday-Saturday during the museum’s regular hours starting January 2019 with a new brand and logo. 

The Derby Café Express will reopen for service Monday – Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., and on Saturdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and will feature a new 1,560-s.f. dining room, supported by nearly 2,000 s.f. of kitchen, culinary prep, pantry and storage.

“It is an especially exciting time to be partnering with the Kentucky Derby Museum because the facility will be expanding significantly this year, which will provide additional opportunities for this great venue to host a spectrum of large events,” Neil Fuselier, senior VP at The RK Group. “We feel privileged by the opportunity to serve the Kentucky Derby Museum and its guests throughout the years ahead, and contribute to the celebration of the rich tradition, history, hospitality and pride of the world-renowned event that is the Kentucky Derby.”

The Kentucky Derby Museum hosts about 250 events year round, including conventions, rehearsal dinners, weddings, corporate dinners, exhibit openings, museum-hosted special events and meetings.

The RK Group’s flagship brand, Rosemary’s Catering, will serve as the exclusive in-house caterer for all of those occasions. Rosemary’s Catering has been involved in achieving winning VIP experiences at some of the most important racing and sporting events in the nation, displaying its mastery of culinary and hospitality services at sporting events, including the Kentucky Derby, throughout the country.

“The RK Group was selected by the Kentucky Derby Museum’s Board of Directors following review of the company’s response to a competitive request for proposal (RFP), which we issued late last year,” Kentucky Derby Museum President and CEO Patrick Armstrong said. “We are excited to have their renowned event catering team as a partner in the years ahead, whom we have come to know and respect over the last five years through their work orchestrating Derby Experiences for QuintEvents.”

The RK Group’s event catering division, Rosemary’s Catering, has been awarded a five-year contract with the Museum to provide year-round private event catering services as well as operate the Derby Café Express. The contract will run through 2023.

Rosemary’s Catering is already working to facilitate tastings and customized menus for events in advance of starting culinary and hospitality services beginning in January 2019.  

Interested parties should contact Christine Hannah, who serves as director of sales in Louisville for Rosemary’s Catering, at [email protected] to initiate discussion of their event plans. Hannah will spearhead client services alongside T.J. Mueller, who leads local operations as general manager. 

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