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Club Grotto — (502) 459-5275; 2116 Bardstown Road, Louisville, Kentucky.

Amenities: Would you drop $115 for a meal at the bar? A solo guest (probably a local regular; solo business travelers invariably request tables.) recently delighted management by doing exactly that. Possible reasons for such self-indulgence? He or she may be a happy devotee of the "I deserve it!" brother/sisterhood. The longevity of the staff also plays a part; add to that their instruction in solo diner-sensitivity.

Career professionals, many of the service staff members have been part of the scene since the restaurant opening nine years ago. Each of them have experienced training in making solos a priority and it shows. Aware of that some guests enjoy impromptu entertainment, staff members often sit and chat with them.

Cuisine: Contemporary American blended with Pacific Rim, Euro-Asian, French and Regional Continental (Huge wine list; 10 wines by the glass.)

Neighborhood: The Highlands

Lynn's Paradise Cafe — (502) 583-3447; 984 Barret Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky.

Featured in "Better Bacon: Artisan producers are making bacon even more irresistable" by Corby Kummer — The Atlantic Monthly — November 2005
"Perhaps because LPC is in the heart of the territory where great bacon is expected, it varies the classic: local bacon from Gatton farms and parmesan-garlic mayo on toasted buttermilk bread, with fried green tomatoes as the 'T.' "

Amenities: How would you rate a restaurant that:

(1) includes an outside display of an 8-foot high coffeepot pouring brown water into a gigantic yellow mug?

(2) holds an annual Easter Egg painting contest? (The winner, voted on by guests, gets free breakfast for one month without a wait in line — which can be 1½ hrs. on Sunday morning!)

(3) features a “Drink Goddess” (“She’s rather outrageous and fits the concept of this place to a T,” said owner Lynn Winter.) who creates a new drink for major holidays.

(4) provides signage — “Mr. Wibble! Reserved until 9:30am” — over the table of a regular who, having moved away, now takes the bus across town for breakfast?

We'd give it a AAA solo-diner rating and sound trumpets!!!

As you can imagine, Mr. Wibble is not the only regular. Other solos, couples and groups have turned the counter area into a social center.

Cuisine: Eclectic — Served in a dynamic atmosphere!

Neighborhood: The Highlands

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Looking for restaurants featuring counter/bar dining? Click: eating at the bar
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