Basil & Bourbon Exterior

Basil & Bourbon will be located in a 90-year-old building.

As the child of a restaurant owner and a farmer, Kayla Rippee knows a thing or two about embracing local ingredients in the food-service industry. Now, she's embarking on her own restaurant venture alongside her husband, Steve, and their sons Ryan and Lane.

They’ve named the business Basil & Bourbon, and have created plans for a menu centered around Bolivar, Missouri's abundant local food sources. The restaurant is set to open this December in one of Bolivar’s 90-year-old buildings.

Kayla never saw herself in the restaurant industry as an adult. “I spent most of my time running from [my mom’s] business,” she says. “I would go back in [the industry] when I needed some quick cash.”

However, when the opportunity to open a restaurant in a charming historical building came her way, she couldn’t turn down the chance.

After crunching some numbers with her mother, she started making the plans to give Bolivar a unique dining experience. “It's taken several years of careers, projects and conversations to bring me back to the food industry, but I'm excited about what we are bringing to Bolivar,” she says.

Diners can expect Basil & Bourbon to have a flexible menu that rotates depending on seasonal availability, as well as a fully stocked bar with drink specials. Kayla wants to source as many local ingredients as possible and provide unique protein options like lamb and quail. Her goal is to add what she refers to as a “chef’s spin” to each dish, such as pairing persimmon pudding with a savory meal.

Currently on staff is chef AJ Hogan from The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks, and lead bartender Phillip Thompson, who previously worked at Barley, Wheat & Rye.

Basil & Bourbon, 113 South Main, Bolivar, Missouri, basil-bourbon.com

Tessa is a freelance writer and photographer in Springfield, Missouri. She is a Parisian at heart and enjoys the finer things in life like flowers and cappuccinos

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