Comings & Goings Winter 2014

The restaurant biz, everyone says, is a chancy one, fraught with big uncertainties (Can the market support another one of us? Is our style of food, or ambiance, on the money, or past its prime? Will this location draw customers? Will the economic outlook, nationally and locally, encourage people to go out to eat?) and everyday challenges (Can we find a staff that will show up on time and create and serve a product that will draw people back? Will costs remain stable enough to plan ahead? Can I actually print a menu without typos?).

Yet, Louisville chefs and restaurateurs continue to find the courage to start out or to expand. In the last three months or so, 18 new restaurants have opened or are about to, and seven others have added, or are planning, an additional location. In that same time, 17 restaurants have closed, and three others with multiple outlets have closed one but remain in business at other locations.

By the numbers, that is 25 openings and 20 closings, total. But eight of the spaces that lost a business have quickly found new occupants, ready to try to beat the odds again. Continue reading Comings & Goings Winter 2014

La Coop Bistro to close New Year’s Day

La Coop: Bistro à Vins, 732 E. Market St., will close after giving one last big New Year’s bash. Falls City Hospitality Group, which owns and operates La Coop as well as Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse and Raw Bar in Louisville and Union Common steakhouse in Nashville, has made arrangements for a new restaurant concept to take over Jan. 1, 2015, though details on what is in store for the restaurant space in the Green Building will not be revealed until mid-December. Continue reading La Coop Bistro to close New Year’s Day

Pizza Hut going hip

Pizza Hut, a part of the Yum! Brands fast-food empire, and purveyor of middle-of-the-road pizza to Middle America, is rethinking its image.  In addition to an updating of its familiar red roof logo, the chain is expanding its pizza offerings to include customer designed pies–as long as they customize them from a set menu of choices.

This change is in response to a demographic trend that many traditional restaurants feel they have to deal with. Several mid-market chains find themselves losing market share to restaurants that speak more clearly to a new generation of diners who are demanding more variety, exotic flavors and higher-quality food. Continue reading Pizza Hut going hip

Belly up to new Heaven Hill bar at Yum! Center

The main concourse at the KFC Yum! Center has a new attraction for thirsty fans in the upper level seats who need some relief from their happy shouting for the winning Cardinals (and other events too). Heaven Hill Distilleries now offers the Heaven Hill Bar, open officially on Nov. 13. 

The bar will serve various Heaven Hill spirit brands, including flagship brand Evan Williams Bourbon, as well as Burnett’s vodkas and gin, Admiral Nelson’s and Blackheart rums, Lunazul tequilas, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, and Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur. Continue reading Belly up to new Heaven Hill bar at Yum! Center

Dundee Tavern to change hands and name, keep the ambience

The Dundee Tavern, long-time anchor of the dining and entertainment corridor along Dundee Rd. off Bardstown Rd. at the Douglass Loop, has been sold to Chris Ross and Susan Conway, who have worked as a catering chef and catering director, respectively, at the Bristol Bar & Grille.

Continue reading Dundee Tavern to change hands and name, keep the ambience

Two closings, one sudden and the other protracted

A bar and grill in Louisville, and a popular coffee house and cafe in Jeffersonville have recently announced their closings.

Mulligan’s Pub & Grille, 1801 Newburg Rd. (a location that will forever referred to in Louisville as “where Kaelin’s used to be”) closed suddenly last week. The announcement, posted anonymously on its Facebook page, simply said, “MILLIGANS [sic] HAS CLOSED ITS DOORS EFFECTIVE TODAY. I have no idea why, so please don’t ask me. Thank you all for your years of loyal patronage. The staff are now looking for work, should you have any leads. Post them below and I’ll see to it that they are shared with them. Again, thank you.” Continue reading Two closings, one sudden and the other protracted

Brown Hotel offers two options for Thanksgiving dinner

For some families, going out to eat for Thanksgiving has been a happy tradition: good food; pleasant, emotionally neutral surroundings; people waiting on you and no cleaning up. (Usually no leftovers either, but you win some and lose some.)

The Brown Hotel continues its long tradition of serving Thanksgiving dinners, both a more formal dinner upstairs in the English Grill, and a more informal buffet in J. Graham’s Cafe downstairs. Continue reading Brown Hotel offers two options for Thanksgiving dinner

Benefit party at Copper & Kings

Friday, Nov. 21 from 6 to 11 p.m. Copper & Kings American Brandy Co., 1121 E. Washington St., will host “A Family Affair” on the Butchertown distillery’s outdoor courtyard.  The party, sponsored by Heine Brothers, Bourbon Barrel Foods, Willett Distillery, Mattingly Foods, Creation Gardens, Copper & Kings and RYE, will benefit Family Scholar House, which provides housing and other support services for single-parent college students and their children. Continue reading Benefit party at Copper & Kings

K.T.’s gets new owner; Austin’s sold for other uses

Two long-standing, American roadhouse style restaurants and watering holes, K.T.’s and Austin’s have been sold to new owners.

The popular, long-lived Lexington Rd. restaurant and bar, K.T.’s has been sold to Kevin Grangier, owner of popular Anchorage restaurant the Village Anchor and Pub. The ownership turnover will be effective Nov. 21, but little will change at the restaurant until the first of the new year, as Grangier makes his final decisions about how to manage the large space at 2300 Lexington Road. Grangier reportedly said he wants to get a feel for what type of restaurant neighborhood residents would like before making any changes. Continue reading K.T.’s gets new owner; Austin’s sold for other uses