No sooner than we post news of some new restaurants set to open (Artesano Tapas, Vinos y Mas; Me Gusta Latin Kitchen and Bar) than news comes of even more additions and changes to the dining mix. The most recent news concerns the sale of Atlantic No. 5 to a pair of restaurant newbies, and new life for the Old Louisville Ermin’s property.
Chefs Rebecca Johnson and Mary Wheatley have bought ownership in Atlantic No. 5 located at 605 W. Main St. The breakfast and lunch cafe had been the brainchild of Michael Kusman-Trager, owner of Rye, who had worked with Weston Marcum to develop the space in the renovated building as a restaurant. Once it was up and running, Kusman-Trager decided to focus on Rye, and sold his share in the business back to Marcum.
The two new owners, who became friends when fellow students at Sulivan in the late 1990s, will bring extensive experience with restaurants to their new endeavor, which had long been a dream of the duo. “We really got wrapped up in having our dream come true and jumped on it,” Wheatley said, about finding the site available.
Johnson and Wheatley plan to reopen on Monday, March 2, after revising the menu. Both have to finish up at their current jobs before they can focus on the new one. Wheatley is manager of Winston’s Restaurant, and Johnson is a company manager with Mind Salt, a restaurant design consulting firm in Louisville, which was involved with the opening of Atlantic No. 5 last year.
Before her current job, Johnson worked locally at Sweet Surrender Dessert Cafe and as a pastry chef at Equus, and Wheatley had previously owned a business called Posh Pastries, was manager of Breadworks and ran cooking classes out of her home.
To start out, Atlantic No. 5 will focus on breakfast and lunch business, with soups, sandwiches, salads and the like. In addition to made-to-order items, the restaurant also will have items, such as pre-assembled sandwiches, that customers can grab to go.
Wheatley encouraged past regulars and customers of Atlantic No. 5 to contact them via social media to let them know what items they still want to see on menu. “We would like to hear from the customers who enjoyed Atlantic No. 5,” she said. “Let us know what they loved.”
At the south end of downtown, in Old Louisville, Ermin’s bakery has closed, and the building and business sold to Scott Lukemire and Dan Borsch, co-owners of The Old Louisville Tavern Bar & Grill. Their plans are open The Toonerville Deli at the corner of First and Oak streets in Old Louisville, in the former Ermin’s Bakery space.
Deborah and Robery Haynes, who owned Ermin’s, had been looking to sell their business for a while, and that sale finally happened quickly.
Borsch also owns Burger Boy, a diner at 1450 S. Brook St. in Old Louisville. He and Lukemire operated the Old Louisville Tavern until an arsonist caused extensive damage that is still under repair. Oddly enough, it was the fire, by closing The Tavern, that gave Borsch the time and opportunity to buy Ermin’s.
He plans to keep some of the most popular items from Ermin’s menu, such as the chess bar and tomato basil soup, and specialize in Reubens and other classic deli sandwiches made from natural premium deli meats, along with house-made sauces, soups and sides, including sauerkraut, potato salad and pasta salad.