A Highland Original

The Uptown Cafe provides a stellar culinary experience in a relaxed atmosphere with a contemporary twist. As one of the Highlands’ first upscale-casual restaurants, the UptownCafe continues to thrill diners for lunch and dinner, just as it has for the past 30 plus years.

Nestled in the heart of the Highlands, patrons may choose to people watch and enjoy the scenery along Bardstown Road while sitting on the patio or dining in the classic interior accented by the original Wiener Werkstatte poster art (1903-1932) that has been part of the Uptown’s decor since it opened.

Diners from the burger lover to the discriminating epicurean will surely find something to satisfy their tastes. With the combination of our wonderfully diverse menu created by executive chef Matt Weber along with the impeccable wait staff, every patron is assured a memorable dining experience. And remember, no meal is ever complete at the end Uptown Cafe, until you have had one of our renowned desserts. Made fresh daily, our confections are irresistible if not just sinful.

Our fully-stocked bar area is the perfect spot to enjoy a sampling of our many tantalizing appetizers while sipping on one of our specialty cocktails or sampling a bottle from our well-rounded wine list, all of which are available by the glass

Whether you’re sharing an evening with friends or looking for a romantic getaway, let the Uptown Cafe make your evening memorable.

Our team

Kelley Ledford, Manager, Uptown Cafe

Kelley, daughter of Uptown's founder Nancy Shepherd, began working at age 13 at Cafe Metro, the family owned "sister" restaurant to the Uptown.. In her years at Cafe Metro Kelley served as salad and appetizer chef, busser and bartender. After graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1990, Kelley joined the staff at the Uptown, where she worked in a variety of capacities from server to bartender to host and eventuality Manager. Operating a truly independent and family owned business, Kelley embraces the people with whom she works and the relationships she has built with her co workers and numerous regulars that frequent the Uptown. Kelley lives in Prospect with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys spending quality time with her husband and girls, and her English Bulldog. She also enjoys hitting the gym in her free time. 

Matt Weber, Head Chef, Uptown Cafe

A Louisville native, Matt Weber began his culinary career at Cafe Metro, one of the city’s first premier fine dining restaurants, in the 80’s. During his time at Cafe Metro, Matt worked as a busser, server and Pastry Chef. He made the transition to the Uptown Cafe in the early ’90’s, where he honed his cooking skills and became Head Chef. Matt lives in Crescent Hill with his wife and two sons. In addition his passion for food and wine, Matt enjoys spending time with his family, cycling and staying fit.

Laurie Banta- Sous Chef, Uptown Cafe

Laurie Banta began her career in the Louisville food scene working at various local restaurants in the the ’80’s and 90’s, and joined the staff at the Uptown Cafe 20 years ago in the position of Sous Chef. Laurie’s culinary creativity runs the gamut of all food styles and ethnicities. She has a great ability and nuance for blending food cultures subtly together. Laurie is a life long Louisvillian and lives in Shelby Park with her son. She studied English at U of L. In her off-time Laurie enjoys reading and the outdoors.

Tim Dugan, Bar Manager, Uptown Cafe

Born and raised in Louisville, Tim is an original Highland’s native, and still lives and works in the Highland’s. Tim began his serving and bartending career at various establishments in Louisville as a young man. He joined the staff at the Uptown in 2003 where he worked as a sever and bartender, and has cultivated a loyal customer following. He took on the role of Head Bartender in 2015. Tim loves U of L Athletics, the New York Giants, and playing and following golf.

Jenna Miller, Pastry Chef, Uptown Café

Jenna’s life-long love of baking led her to interview for a baking position at Cafe Metro and Uptown Cafe in 1988, where she was hired on the spot. Over 30 years on she’s still making her delightful, award winning desserts at the Uptown, where her creativity shines on in the classic desserts and weekly sweet innovations she makes. When not baking at the Uptown, Jenna enjoys baking goodies for her friends and family. In her free time outside the kitchen, Jenna loves the outdoors and hiking with her rescue dog Daisy.

Nancy Shepherd
Uptown Cafe Founder

Nancy and her husband opened Cafe Metro in 1980 and the Uptown Cafe in 1985. Nancy helped form and establish the Louisville restaurant scene with her love of great food and wine, and her outgoing and intelligent personality. Nancy built the two restaurants from the ground up, with the philosophy for treating everyone as one would want to be treated, and providing excellent food and service at reasonable prices. Nancy worked at Cafe Metro until it’s closing, and continued to be involved with operations at the Uptown.

Giving Back to the Community

Some of our favorite philantrophic endeavors include:

Dare to Care Taste of Derby Festival

Apron Dine Around

House of Ruth – Dining out for Life

Bellarmine – Empty Bowls

Give-a-jam to end homelessness

Healing Place – 86 Addiction

Also many small donations to various organizations in our community.