Pizza Today - June 2020 - 49

venture into restaurant ownership. While
other locations didn't pan out, there was
something about a circa-1860 brick house
off the beaten path in the Butchertown
neighborhood. "It's tucked away, and we
are literally absconded by this 10-foot flood
wall," Max says. "When I first laid eyes on
it, I said this is a spot where if we are going
to do any business out here, we need to
have something different. This needs to be
a destination. People are not going to go
to a destination location without a purpose
so we need to throw out the idea of doing
anything that anyone can get anywhere
more convenient... If there is a destination
concept that I can put into this location,
it's Neapolitan pizza."
The Balliets and Turla undertook a
complete renovation in 2016. "When we
bought it, it had been converted into an art
studio, but it still retained all the features
of the house," Max says. "We replace every
floor joist in that building, took them out
and made the bar out of them and tried to
reclaim all the wood we could."
During the buildout, they paid particular
attention to the sound to create that
intimate atmosphere they wanted. "We
had a buddy who is a sound engineer build
these baffles that we have all over the
ceiling," Max says. "It was just night and
day. You could tell the difference in the
echoes and just the coziness of the room."
After a year-long renovation and
community-wide anticipation, Lupo
opened to crowds of diners to its 75-seat
dining room. Max handles the day-to-day
operations of Lupo. He says, they finetuned everything for the opening to be
ready for the rush. "The biggest key to a
successful opening is to expect there to be a
crowd and know how to handle it," he says,
adding that the opening went seamlessly.
Lupo's opening menu of Neapolitan

pizza and seasonally-focused pasta dishes
was a hit in the Louisville market, not
accustomed to Neapolitan pizza. A big key
to its initial success, Max says, was "guiding
people and letting them know this is a
little bit different than what you are used
to."
Its focused pizza menu has less than
10 pies. The Margherita is always popular.
A local hit is the Sting Like A Bee with
sopressata, spicy local honey, tomato, fresh
mozzarella and basil. White pies include
the Moonchild with Taleggio, potato,
Moroccan olives and an oyster mushroom
béchamel.
Max mixes up the pizza menu with
seasonal specials, like the Salsiccia pie with
fennel sausage, anchovy rapini, buttermilk
ricotta and mozzarella.
Lupo's scratch pasta focus has grown
since opening. In the beginning, pizza
outsold pasta 80/20 percent. Now it's a
60/40 balance. Max attributes the rise in
popularity of pasta dishes to incorporating
more classics like carbonara to accompany
the less familiar seasonal pastas.
Throughout the menu, high-dollar
ingredients can be found, from oysters on
the antipasti menu to sopressata and n'duja
on the pizza menu. "Expensive ingredients,
you just have to know how to price it and
you have to know how to incorporate it
into a dish," Max says. "With proteins on
pizza especially Neapolitan style, less is
more."
The presentation of every menu item
is precise and beautiful. Lupo is very
strategic about its social media. Most
posts are dedicated to jaw-dropping food
photography, behind the scenes kitchen
video and a focus on new food and
beverage items.
The intricacies of Lupo's scratch menu
excites its 20-member team. The employee

culture is engaged and educational. "I
feel so honored and lucky to have the
people I do," Max says. "We have folks
that genuinely see what we are doing and
appreciate it and get excited about it.
"That's a dream come true to be in an
environment of like-minded people that
want to learn and grow together," he says.
Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, Lupo
has temporarily closed after shifting the
Neapolitan dine-in concept to takeout
only. "We had some long conversations and
we decided to completely shut down," Max
says. "It's such a heartbreaking thing to do.
It's something I never thought we would
face this year completely shutting down my
business. It's my baby. We're making plans
for when this is something in the past.
(Right now), we are biding our time."
Max says, he misses that family. During
the shutdown, the restaurant has operated
as a grocery for its employees who have
been laid off.
At the beginning of May, Kentucky
restaurants were still restricted to carryout
and delivery only. Max says, "I think the
reality is that nobody knows right now
because it's uncharted waters."
As with many dine-in focused
restaurants, Max waits. "Going forward
depending on what they are saying is
the safest way we can do it, we'll operate
business in that way first and foremost."
As the restrictions subside, Max says,
"I'm excited to get back to work. I think
like everybody is. Let's take this time
that when we are through this, let's take
everything for granted a little bit less." n

DENISE GREER is Executive Editor at
Pizza Today.
J U N E 2 0 2 0 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 4 9


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - June 2020

Pizza Today - June 2020
Commentary
Digital
Conversation
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Man on the Street
Building Blocks
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Knead to Know
Destinations
Product showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Expo Spotlight
White Pies
Pizza Lupo
Life After Closure
Marketing DELCO
Selling Merch.
The Phoenix Rising
Low-labor Delivery Items
Pizza Today - June 2020 - CT1
Pizza Today - June 2020 - CT2
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Pizza Today - June 2020
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Cover2
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Commentary
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 4
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 5
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 6
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 7
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Digital
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 9
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Conversation
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 11
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 13
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 15
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Building Blocks
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 17
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 19
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 21
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 22
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 23
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Destinations
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 25
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Life After Closure
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 27
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 28
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 29
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Marketing DELCO
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 31
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Selling Merch.
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 33
Pizza Today - June 2020 - The Phoenix Rising
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 35
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Low-labor Delivery Items
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 37
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 38
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 39
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 40
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 41
Pizza Today - June 2020 - White Pies
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 43
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Pizza Lupo
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 45
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 46
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 47
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 48
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 49
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Product showcase
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 51
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 53
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 54
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 55
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 56
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 57
Pizza Today - June 2020 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 59
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 60
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 61
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 62
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 63
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 64
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 65
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Cover3
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202112
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202111
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202110
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202109
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202108
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202107
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202106
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/expo_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201507
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com