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Company Behind Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar Buys Restaurant, Catering Business

The owner of Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar in Covington's Mainstrasse Village has expanded her reach.

Molly Wellman and her Wellman's Brands announced Monday that Melt, a popular restaurant in Cincinnati's Northside neighborhood, and Picnic & Pantry, a catering business in Over-the-Rhine, are now part of the company. Both companies were owned by chef Lisa Kagen before the sale to Wellman.

Wellman's Brands also includes The Famous Neons Unplugged, Japp's Since 1879, and Myrtle's Punch House.

Wellman is a celebrated Cincinnati mixologist and cocktail aficionado who has written a book about craft cocktails. Kagen, who will stary on staff as chef, will work with Wellman to create an experience and menu that are unique to their existing venues, a news release stated.

"It has always been my mission to create a menu that satisfies many people," said Kagen. "I want to satisfy high end cravings with fun, approachable menus, while supporting local producers as much as possible.”

Melt will continue to operate in Northside where it has called home for over 10 years while still offering the same great dishes that were recently showcased on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. In the near future, Melt hopes to offer additional locations with expanded service. Picnic & Pantry will seek to expand its catering operation as well as its in store offerings in OTR.

The purchase will allow for in-house catering at private events inside Wellman's Brands' locations and there will also be the addition of a food presence within the bars as the integration between the brands matures.

-Staff report

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