Novo Dolce finds new footing after moving

Stephanie Jessie

Around the corner from Riley’s Bakery, hidden behind Penn Station, is a little piece of New York City, transplanted into Bowling Green.

Novo Dolce Gastro Pub is a place described by co-owner Jake Petrovic and general manager Jenny Van Buren as “modern”, “relaxing” and, ultimately, “fine-dining in a bar atmosphere.”

The modern-industrial style pub was started in May 2012 by Petrovic and co-owner and head chef Sasa Mandrapa as a basic sandwich and espresso shop off Old Morgantown Road. The pub made its move to the new, larger location off 31-W in April, adding a full-service kitchen and bar.

“On this side of town, there are no restaurants, no bars,” Petrovic said. “Everyone has to go to the other side of town. This is like a neighborhood bar.”

The idea behind a gastro pub is giving the customer a chance to enjoy fine-dining with a laid-back, bar atmosphere. Petrovic said gastro pubs originated in London in the early ‘90s and have become popular in cities like New York and Miami.

“It is a true gastro pub,” Dan Chaney, WKU project manager and Novo Dolce enthusiast, said. “That phrase gets tossed around a lot, but this is real.”

Van Buren said that Novo Dolce is introducing something new to Bowling Green.

“We wanted to do something that not everybody has. Something that you can eat every day, but is different,” Van Buren said.

The menu includes a variety of pastas, burgers, coffees and homemade gelato daily. Specials are posted on the pub’s Instagram, @novodolcegastropub, daily.

“The food is spot on, there is a great drink selection…it doesn’t even feel like Bowling Green,” Chaney said.

Specials are chosen weekly based on what’s available at local farms and markets.

“It’s cool because we’ll get different things based on what the farmers have that week or what’s in season,” Van Buren said. “Our chefs get to be creative in deciding our specials for the week.”

The full, regular menu and hours can be found on, along with connection links for Facebook and Instagram.

“It’s the food, it’s the atmosphere, it’s the ambience,” Petrovic said. “That brings people back.”