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European-style Restaurant Opens in Newport

Veteran restaurateurs Detlef Koeppe and Marcus Repp have opened Factory Buvette & Bar, a new European-style coffee shop, bar, and restaurant at the corner of Fifth and Monmouth Streets in Newport, two blocks from Newport on the Levee. The River CIty News was the first to report plans for the restaurant last October.

Factory, which is located in the first-floor commercial space of the Monmouth Row Apartments, offers gourmet coffees, fresh-food items, and a full bar with wine, liquor, and 10 different draft beers, half of which will be imported from Europe and the other half of which will be local craft brews. The bar also will have a growler station for those who want to take beer home.

“This is a new concept in Europe that we wanted to bring to our area,” Koeppe said. “We like to say we are Europe in the heart of Newport.”

Factory Buvette & Bar - “buvette” is French for refreshment room - will serve gourmet coffees, including lattes, frappas, and espresso, and will offer homemade soups, hot sandwiches, and salads as well as daily food specials with a European flair.

“We will use local ingredients when they are available and the food will be made fresh everyday,” said Repp, a classically trained master chef who has worked as a chef at some of the finest restaurants in Europe and the Caribbean Islands before joining the Steinhaus Group last year.

“Factory will have a daily special that is a rotating menu based on what’s freshly harvested or available at the time,” Repp said. “Many of our daily specials will definitely have a European influence, which could mean menu items with a French, Belgian, Spanish, Portuguese, and even Middle Eastern inspiration. We won’t just serve German food.”

Koeppe and Repp, both German natives who now live in Northern Kentucky and operate the Steinhaus Restaurant on Dixie Highway in Erlanger, hired a German architect to design the interior of the restaurant in an industrial theme.

“The name and the design are intended reflect and pay homage to Newport’s industrial past, which includes steel making and breweries,” Koeppe said.  In keeping with the industrial theme, Factory offers two custom blends of coffee: Stahlwerk, which is German for “steel mill,” and Producktion.

Factory Buvette & Bar will initially be open from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., seven days a week. The hours may expand to 7:00 p.m. or even later if customers request expanded hours. The restaurant provides free Wi-Fi service and will offer a customer-loyalty program.

In a couple of months, the restaurant will likely begin offering chef-prepared meals that will keep for several days for those who want to eat at home, Repp said. He is working on the concept with a chef from Munich who he knows from his master-chef training in Germany.

“She already operates a business that provides these types of meals,” he said. “We already are sharing some recipes and I plan to visit with her in Munich in the next couple of weeks to discuss further collaboration with her on this concept.” 

In addition to being able to seat more than 80 people inside the restaurant, Factory also will provide outdoor dining along Monmouth Street during the warm-weather months.

“The City of Newport has been extremely helpful to us as we have worked to open our new restaurant and we are thankful to the city officials for their valuable assistance,” Koeppe said. “We are excited to be a part of the growing culinary scene in Newport, Covington, and Northern Kentucky.”

“Monmouth Street has the potential to be the next OTR in terms of dining choices and experiences and we are excited to be a part of this wonderful opportunity,” said Repp.

Staff report/Photos: Factory Buvette & Bar (provided)

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