The Louisville Cardinal

The Twig: U of L students reboot a local favorite

The Twig and Leaf diner has been a part of the Bardstown Road community since it opened in 1962. From the landmark neon sign out front emblazoned with its slogan: “Tops in Food,” to its old school diner feel, locals have enjoyed this restaurant for years.

When hard times hit, U of L student Ferhan Ali and U of L graduate Gibin George took the opportunity to save it. Both plan to co-own the restaurant, keeping in place the old-school vibe that keeps locals coming back and bringing the restaurant into the 21st century. Closing for renovations on Sept. 28, they have big plans.

“We’re trying to add some healthier options,” George said.

The pair plan to keep the menu mostly the same, serving the typical diner fare but adding in healthier options such as hummus and chicken kebobs. They want to incorporate local ingredients as well, hoping to work with the farmers market down the street.

“My target market would be the locals. When people from outside Louisville come, and try to figure out where locals eat, I want to give them this place. They should be like, ‘Okay, Twig and Leaf.’”

The diner certainly has its fans, one local even volunteering to park his 1964 Chevy outside on opening day just to help advertise. He has been a regular since he was six years old and said it was the least he could do.

With a location as rich in history and nostalgia as the Twig and Leaf, George and Ferhan have attracted a lot of attention. Despite any reservations locals may have, the two are certain they’re ready to give the customers what they want. Renovations will include an improved dining area in addition to new menu items, polishing the restaurant up for the 21st century.

The Twig reopens Oct. 2, staying open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays, and closing between 5 – 6 p.m. Sunday.