Elizabeth Myers / louisville.com

When Rumplings closed for the last time in the wee hours of the morning on June 7, Griffin Paulin was unsure of his next professional step. “I’ve had a few things fall into my lap over the past couple of days…I just want to kind of find a place where I can cook whatever I want and make a good living and hang out with my fam,” he said. It appears Paulin has found that place at Over the 9, at 120 S. 10th St.

Over the 9 (the name references the district west of 9th Street) is housed in the tasting room adjacent to Old 502 Winery and Falls City Brewery. Over the 9 has been in the works since at least 2014 and is open to the public this week, beginning Monday, July 6.

Paulin was frank about his reasons for choosing Over the 9 as a landing place. “I got the opportunity to cook whatever I wanted, with no micromanagement, as long as I thought it fit into the theme of the tasting room. Also, I had some big offers, people throwing all kinds of things at me, and I kind of just wanted to cook again.”

Paulin is working with sous-chef Scott Hoppel, previously of St. Charles Exchange and Eggs Over Frankfort.

Over the 9’s menu of small plates ranges from $8 for burnt ends with tofu, house bbq and brioche points to $12 for BLT sliders made with lamb belly, bbq, Swiss chard, tomato and blanched egg yolk. “I wanted to take traditional pub grub and ramp it up a bit,” Paulin said. “So we’re doing scotch eggs, but with bison, chorizo and duck eggs. I’m doing a BLT, but doing it with lamb belly, Swiss chard and vinegar-poached eggs. Nachos, but with fried won tons, lamb lardons, chimichurri and beer cheese.”

The small plates are accompanied by a larger list of Old 502 Wine, Falls City Beer and $9 cocktail. “The food aspect of Over the 9 is really just supposed to be an awesome complement to the tasting room,” Paulin said. “I chose small plates because this is America, and we as Americans want it all. Why choose when you don’t have to? You can come in here, spend $30 and eat bison, chorizo, duck, foie gras and lamb.”

Image courtesy of Over the 9
Over the 9 is starting service with a 9-item menu and will offer a weekly dessert – this week’s is “cereal” with goat cheese, Greek yogurt, lingonberry jelly, blackberries, granola and a fried wonton tossed in cinnamon and sugar.
“Lots of pubs have food, but I wouldn’t say very many of them are doing the food to the level we are, especially from an ingredient standpoint. We aren’t rolling in the Sysco truck and dropping pre-made product in the fryer. Literally everything in house is from scratch, whether it’s cashew butter, lingonberry jelly, mayonnaise, pickles, everything. Except of course Blue dog baguette, but I couldn’t make it better than they do if I tried.”

Paulin said he was pleased with his place at Over the 9. “I wanted creative freedom, and I wanted to cook. Owning my own spot is a goal that can wait a little longer. I didn’t want to jump straight back in to it. I’m very happy with my landing place.”

You can visit Over the 9’s Facebook Page, Twitter and website (still under construction as of the publish date of this article) here.