Ghyslain, the restaurant and pâtisserie chain, is closing its NuLu location because of hotel construction, but the owner fully expects to return to East Market Street.
Ghyslain Maurais, owner of Ghyslain Chocolatier, told Insider Louisville Thursday morning that the business was doing well in NuLu and that he was committed to reopening a restaurant on East Market Street.
“I wish we would not close it, but you cannot stop progress, and it will be so good for the area to have a hotel there,” said Maurais, proprietor of Ghyslain on Market and Ghyslain at Westport Village. “We are ready to do the sacrifice for a year and a half.”
Ron Turnier and Mollie Turnier, the owners of wholesale food distributor Creation Gardens, own the building where Ghyslain operates and also are developing the hotel. The Turniers have been in communication with Maurais for at least a year about the need for him to shut the doors on Ghyslain on Market.
When construction starts wrapping up, Maurais will have first right of refusal to a new lease on the 721 E. Market St. space.
“They’re obviously a great friend and a great partner and a great local business,” said Rob Webber, chief operating officer of Creation Gardens. “We’d welcome them back with open arms.”
Ghyslain on Market will close starting on Jan. 29.
“We expect to be pretty busy for the next two weeks, but definitely, we will be back,” Maurais said, noting that people can still enjoy Ghyslain’s food at the Westport Village location during the closure.
All the employees at Ghyslain on Market will move to the Westport Road location.
“We kind of knew what was coming,” Maurais said. “When we had employees leaving, we were not replacing them.”
The current inconvenience will be worth it, he said, adding that opening a restaurant next to a 150-room hotel is potentially “a gold mine.”
However, Maurais noted, the restaurant may be different from the current Ghyslain on Market, as he’ll want to target the hotel guest.
“We are not sure if it’s going to be the same concept,” he said. “We are just going to take our time what is going to be best.”
No matter what the concept ends up being, the reopen date will depend on how construction proceeds. It is expected to take 12 to 14 months.
“We are finalizing the details of the project,” Webber said, “and plan to break ground this spring.”