Rich’s Proper Food and Drink in Covington has hired a new chef and is launching a new menu for the fall.

Bill Whitlow, who owns Rich’s Proper Food and Drink along with his wife, Morgan, says new chef Kayla Curlin is elevating the restaurant’s cuisine from casual to “upscale casual.”

The new menu—continuing the restaurant’s tradition of seafood with a hint of southern Creole influence—will offer items such as braised short ribs on roasted garlic and Parmesan grits with gravy and fried celery leaf.

In addition, the new menu will have a fish and chips option featuring a breaded, deep-fried bluegill with garlic butter and herbs served with house-seasoned fries. Most restaurants use cod for their fish and chips, but Whitlow says, “We wanted to go into a more interesting fish.”

Catfish, a traditional fish used in southern cuisine, will also be on the new menu. Rich’s Proper Food and Drink will now serve a blackened catfish with garlic herb butter, says Whitlow.

A new appetizer on the menu will feature mussels and shrimp with roasted corn and caramelized onions in a spicy tomato red wine broth, he says. The new menu reflects Curlin’s fresh approach to the food at Rich’s Proper. “She’s taking it a notch up and just bringing a brighter and more refreshing option,” says Whitlow.

The new menu doesn’t mean that the currently popular options available on today’s menu are going by the wayside.

Popular items that will continue to be served include the mac and cheese eggrolls and Philly cheesesteak eggrolls; the Baton Rouge burger topped with country ham, cheese and dijonnaise; housemade beignets with Kentucky butter cream and powdered sugar; and the cordon bleu sliders with fried chicken topped with country ham, Swiss cheese and a honey-garlic aioli on brioche buns—the restaurant’s most popular item.

And, of course, fresh oysters will still be emphasized, says Whitlow. Rich’s Proper has Oyster Night on Wednesdays that includes Chesapeake oysters and $5 Champagne and $5 oyster shooters, he says.

“We do a nice rotating selection of nice raw oysters that we bring in multiple times a week from anywhere from New Zealand to the West Coast to Canada,” he says. “We’re one of the few places in the area that do oysters like we do,” says Whitlow.

There are also award-winning cocktails to enjoy at Rich’s Proper. “I won best bourbon cocktail in Kentucky in 2013 and 2016 and we just won best mint julep in Kentucky this year,” Whitlow says. The restaurant was also recently named one of the top bourbon bars in America by Bourbon Review Magazine, he says.

The food and drinks at Rich’s Proper can best be enjoyed on the large outdoor patio on the side of the building, says Whitlow. “You can check out Hotel Covington and all the action that’s going on around you, but you’re sitting in a secluded … beautiful patio area.”

Rich’s Proper Food and Drink is located at 701 Madison Ave. in Covington.