azalea

A new restaurant to bloom in the dead garden of Azalea?

Finally! It looks like something will be done to the Bauer property known as Bauer’s 1870 Tavern, then La Paloma and finally, Azalea.

Insider Louisville reported Friday that Indianapolis-based Cunningham Restaurant Group signed a letter of intent to put one of its high-end casual restaurants on the site.

Broker Paul Grisanti submitted plans to the city that include not only a new 7,500 square-foot eatery on the site, but a new 5,300 square-foot medical office building.

The key word in each case is “new.” Which means the old—the restaurant building and the Rite-Aid building—will be demolished. The developers who want to rehab the site claim it’s “impossible to reutilize the existing cellar or any of the existing structural elements of the seriously dilapidated old restaurant building.”

Everyone who’s seen the building’s outside suspected as much about its innards. A friend recently said, “That building is so run down, I bet that if you opened it up, it would be like Noah’s ark. You’d find two of every animal in there.” Even Grisanti said he wondered what potential contaminants he was breathing each time he showed the aged building to some 15 prospective restaurant operators.

Will their plan pass a review of Louisville’s Architectural Review Committee of the Landmarks Commission? Let’s hope so. Visit www.crgdining.com to see what potential brands Cunningham might operate in that site, and then start dreaming about dining out on that fabulous patio again.