New Derby Cafe Express concept is now open for breakfast and lunch at the Kentucky Derby Museum

New Derby Cafe Express concept is now open for breakfast and lunch at the Kentucky Derby Museum

New Derby Cafe Express concept is now open for breakfast & lunch at the Kentucky Derby Museum    

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March. 15, 2019) – The Kentucky Derby Museum is pleased to announce the new Derby Cafe Express concept is open for breakfast and lunch to serve both locals and visitors as Derby and peak travel season approach.  

The Derby Cafe Express serves hot and cold breakfast items such as parfaits, fresh breakfast pastries, muffins, and kolache; alongside fresh-brewed and iced coffee, tea, juices and bottled beverages. The lunch menu offers a selection of popular deli-style sandwiches, paninis, soups, salads, fresh fruit, and Kentucky-inspired staples like the one and only Derby Pie, benedictine, and classic rotating specials. 

The new Derby Cafe Express also features a full bar, available during business hours, highlighting more than fifty varieties of bourbon and remains a destination on the Urban Bourbon Trail. There’s no better way to top off a trip to historic Churchill Downs Racetrack than toasting with a Mint Julep.

The RK Group’s flagship brand, Rosemary’s Catering, serves as the operator through 2023 for the Derby Cafe Express as well as the exclusive in-house caterer for the more than 250 events hosted at the Museum from weddings, conventions, and exhibit openings to corporate rentals and meetings. Rosemary’s Catering has been involved in achieving winning VIP experiences at some of the most important racing and sporting events in the nation, and they display their mastery of culinary and hospitality services at sporting events, including the Kentucky Derby, throughout the country.

Rosemary’s Catering sources local products to create an updated culinary experience in the Derby Cafe Express, lead by Chef John Heidelmeier.  Chef Heidelmeier, an Austin, Texas native and Le Cordon Bleu graduate, has worked in kitchens in various capacities since 2005 and strives to be versatile in an environment in which the style of cuisine is different every day. When not in the kitchen drawing on his experience to help young cooks become great chefs, he can often be found smoking a Texas-style brisket in the backyard of his Germantown home.

Overall direction of the Derby Cafe Express and Rosemary’s Catering on-site at the Kentucky Derby Museum is led by General Manager TJ Mueller, who joined Rosemary’s Catering in August of 2018 after a 14 year run in the restaurant industry.  Mueller is a South Texas native, raised in Katy TX, who started his career in hospitality with the Landry’s Corporation in 2005. After a move to San Antonio in 2008, Mueller began his 10 year stint with Fleming’s Steakhouse, work that would take him all over Texas and parts of Louisiana. Eventually becoming an Operating Partner of three locations, Mueller served as the Regional Service Manager where he assisted in Operations, Training & Development, and Communications for 11 restaurants. Mueller is extremely proud of his past employment experiences and is excited for this new opportunity, to help grow The RK Brand in Louisville and beyond.

The Derby Cafe closed this past winter to undergo renovations and is now open under the new Derby Cafe Express concept as we enter Derby and peak travel season.  The Cafe is open Monday – Saturday from 9:00AM to 3:00PM for breakfast and lunch. The space features a renovated 1,560 sq. ft. indoor dining room and a 7,300 sq. ft. covered outdoor patio with seating to overlook the Museum’s newly-constructed stable, home to a rotating Resident Thoroughbred as well as Companion Pony, Tatanka. The renovated back-of-house is supported by nearly 2,000 sq. ft. of kitchen, culinary prep space, pantry and storage.

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About: Kentucky Derby Museum ( – Kentucky Derby Museum, a 501(C)(3) non-profit public charity organization in Louisville, Kentucky has a commitment to ENGAGE, EDUCATE and EXCITE everyone about the extraordinary experience that is the KENTUCKY DERBY.

About: Rosemary’s Catering ( is Texas’ leader in catering, event and hospitality services, and has established seven decades of success by being the ‘go-to, can-do’ partner people count on for any occasion, all season long. Rosemary's Catering brings passion for creative cuisine and gracious service to any setting, for every occasion and every taste, and is the flagship brand of The RK Group. Established by founder Rosemary Kowalski, and continued today by two successive generations of culinary and event professionals, Rosemary’s catering serves thousands of annual events making each truly extraordinary – from a family’s garden wedding to society’s most anticipated charitable galas.