Cocktails, cauliflower, and nachos: It’s not a combination you’d expect to see every day, but then again, Naive isn’t the type of restaurant you’d expect to find in Louisville at all. That’s because Catherine MacDowell created Naive “to fill a void” in Louisville. “I wanted to bring the west coast to Kentucky, creating a healthy-ish restaurant, filled with produce inspired dishes and great atmosphere,” Catherine says.
Even though Naive might seem a bit out of place in a city like Louisville, it’s right at home in the NuLu neighborhood where “big city vibes” combine with a “sense of community” to form the perfect neighborhood for small and local businesses.
With innovative dishes and unique cocktails made from fresh and local ingredients, Naive’s indulgent but “healthy-ish” menu is the perfect fit for the culture of NuLu. “We’re a fun and vibrant restaurant turned bar at night. A place to connect. With others, and with what we eat,” Catherine says.
Naive isn’t just a modern eatery with incredible cocktails and a unique menu. It’s also a space that provides customers with the opportunity to think about the food they eat and the role it plays in their lives beyond nourishment. “We see the world as a place of hope,” Catherine says. “Maybe that’s naive. But maybe it’s one of our greatest strengths. Because we’re not afraid to think big, without any preconceived notions. With a connection to what’s real, from the food we eat to the relationships we nourish.”
Catherine knows that it takes “determination” to build a business, and that determination is part of what keeps Naive running despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of closing her doors, Catherine has embraced the opportunity, offering carryout deals like daily $10 lunch specials, BOGO cocktails, and $28 multi-course dinner packages. She has also slightly altered the restaurant’s hours, opening at 11 a.m. and closing at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
While we’ll have to live without Naive’s airy ambience for a little while longer, you can still bring home your favorite fresh dishes and luscious cocktails when you call ahead or order online.