Beam Distillery’s New Restaurant and Bar The Kitchen Table is a Revelation


December 6, 2021

Conceived as an homage to distilling legend Fred Noe’s home cooking traditions, Jim Beam Distillery‘s newly unveiled The Kitchen restaurant and bar is instead a modern and inviting culinary revelation.

I’ve seen concepts similar to this one over the years, but I’m not sure any of them pulled off the high-end and aw-shucks hybrid with such aplomb. Treated to a tour of both the food and cocktail menus, I’d not only be hard-pressed to choose a favorite, I’d also be remiss to say anything didn’t exceed expectations.

The atmosphere in the 5,000-square-foot space, which was announced in October, includes a sleek island bar that seats a couple dozen people and is lined at the top with Beam products (a nice touch); with modern decor, and open view of the kitchen, areas that can be closed off for private events. In one corner, however, the down-home touch is a replica of the Noe family kitchen table flanked by photos of the Noes just being the Noes, sitting at the inspirational table and other candid poses.

True to this tribute and to The Kitchen’s homespun motto — “Come as Friends, Leave as Family” — Freddie Noe sat and dined with the media guests, talked about distilling and quality control, discussed whiskey in general, but ultimately the conversation turned to favorite fast food chains, from KFC to Whataburger. Many at the table, Noe included, learned for the first time that the name Arby’s is simply a wink-and-a-nod application to the initials “R.B.,” which of course stands for “roast beef.”

The concept was designed through a partnership between Beam, JBBDCo. and QED Hospitality, which has developed restaurants in New Orleans and Nashville. Nationally-renowned Chef Brian Landry and his team took Noe family traditions and took them up a notch. 

Through the culinary tour, some highlights did emerge, one of those being the house Mule, made with Beam and “highly carbonated water” made in-house. By far the cleanest and tastiest Mule I’ve ever tasted, and I wanted more. In addition, The Kitchen’s smash burger also is a fairly glorious creation, and it’s possible that will be my order on a return visit. But it’s also wise to pay attention to the smoked trout. Absolutely delicious.

In addition, the pizza menu is beyond excellent. The crust is house made using spent grains from the bourbon and proprietary yeast. Chef Landry joked that the distillery swore his staff to secrecy upon threat of their families’ well beings. The mushroom pizza was a particular highlight.

Here’s a rundown of some The Kitchen Table’s menu specialties …

Smash (Photos by Kevin Gibson)


-Jim Beam Highball, as noted above, made with Jim Beam White Label, highly-carbonated water and grapefruit

-Golden Hour, made with Basil Haden’s straight bourbon, aperol apertivo and lillet blanc

-Smash, made with Old Grand-dad 114 proof, lemon, mint and sugar

Lamb Ribs


-Spiced pork rinds

-Bacon-wrapped venison poppers served with cane syrup gastrique (I dare you to stop at one)

-Pulled pork empanadas, served with white barbecue sauce

-Lamb ribs, with chow chow and black vinegar (these are an absolute show-stopper)

Smoked Pork Pizza


-Hot Brown, with turkey bacon, tomato and Swiss Kentucky moon

-Smoked pork with cherry peppers, red onion, salsa verde and mozzarella

-Wild mushroom with roasted garlic, caramelized onions and smoked gouda (incredible)

Smoked Trout


-Burger, two patties, white cheddar, charred onion aioli, served with house-cut fries

-Smothered catfish, breaded and fried, served with creole tomato sauce and green onion rice

-Smoked trout with farro pilaf and tartar sauce

Bourbon Balls


-Bourbon balls, with pecan, chocolate and cookie crumbs

-Spiced apples over vanilla pudding with caramel and granola

-Chocolate Blackout Cake, topped with fudge, cherries and bourbon whipped cream (I nearly passed out for real)

The Kitchen Table is open at the Beam Distillery Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon-4:30.