Welcome to the Oct. 12 Monday Business Briefing, your private business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.

Butchertown’s newest development has its first tenant

Insider Louisville got the scoop this summer that developer Andy Blieden bought and is renovating nine buildings in Butchertown for a mixed-use development he’s calling Butcherblock.

Now we’ve learned the first business to move into Butcherblock will be a home goods boutique named Stag & Doe.

Jeff McAfee | Courtesy of Studio Threesixty

Jeff McAfee | Courtesy of Studio Threesixty

The store is the brainchild of Jeff McAfee and Julie Meehan, who already co-own interior design company Studio Threesixty in Butchertown.

“We’re currently in the Butchertown Market, and we love this neighborhood and have been looking for a way to expand,” Meehan said.

Stag & Doe — a play on the fact that the business is run by one man and one woman — will be located at 1013 E. Main St., she said. Studio Threesixty also will move its offices there.

Without something like an IKEA store, Meehan said she and McAfee felt there was a dearth of Louisville businesses that sell “modern, affordable” furniture for the living room, kitchen, bedroom and nursery. For example, couches will range from $699 to $1,299 and dining chairs from $69 to $139.

“We feel like there is a vacant spot in the market for this kind of offering,” she said.

Although they are still narrowing down potential suppliers, Meehan said, “it will be a very eclectic mix.”

Julie Meehan | Courtesy of Studio Threesixty

Julie Meehan | Courtesy of Studio Threesixty

The target age of a Stag & Doe customer will range from 20 to 50, Meehan said, adding that they expect to appeal to first-time homebuyers who don’t have tons of money to spend on furnishings.

McAfee added that Stag & Doe will specialize in furniture that fits the smaller homes found in neighborhoods such as Butchertown, the Highlands and Germantown.

“We will have a size that fits those types of spaces better,” he said.

The goal is to make Stag & Doe a warm place where people won’t feel intimidated by prices.

“There is a whole element of fun we want to keep,” McAfee said.

The boutique could open as early as February but more likely early spring, Meehan said, as the more than century-old building will need to be completely renovated. That includes adding solar panels to the roof.

Andy Blieden plans to invest about $75,000 in the project, with McAfee and Meehan chipping in $50,000.

“They are really going to do a really great job bringing the building back to what it was,” Blieden said. “The key to my success has always been the best tenants in the best location possible.”

Butcherblock “should be a really exciting development.” —Caitlin Bowling

More GLI changes: new VP appointment, PR director out, PR firm hired

In our last MBB, IL reported Susan Overton was stepping down as VP of public affairs and strategy at Greater Louisville Inc. “for another opportunity.” GLI has announced her replacement: Sarah Davasher-Wisdom will take over as senior vice president of public affairs and strategy.

Sarah Davasher-Wisdom

Sarah Davasher-Wisdom

Previously Davasher-Wisdom was VP of government affairs, and according to a news release, she will “continue to oversee GLI’s advocacy, public affairs, and government relations efforts.”

That’s a lot of work.

“Sarah has tremendous capacity and is renowned for her attention to detail,” said GLI CEO Kent Oyler. “She has proven herself to be a reliable performer in the public policy role and as a member of the executive team, and I’m confident that she will continue to perform as she takes on this expanded role.”

To assist Davasher-Wisdom with public policy and government relations planning, Joe Geoghegan has been promoted to senior manager of public policy and planning. (Author’s note: I taught Geoghegan at Collegiate. He’s brilliant.)

And following last week’s news of Susan Overton’s exit, a source told us of another GLI employee out the door: Reena O’Brien, director of communications and PR for the chamber, is stepping down.

She told IL, “I am a military spouse and was presented with an opportunity to work for a national organization that connects businesses with veterans. The great part is I can work from anywhere as my husband continues to serve in the U.S. Army.”

GLI is not hiring to replace her. They are now under contract with Tyler Glick of Glick Strategies to assist with media relations and to handle all media inquiries.

Davasher-Wisdom has a BA and an MPA from WKU. — Melissa Chipman

Update 4:15 p.m.: Tyler Glick reached out to let us know that GLI will be hiring a Communications Manager soon. So, not a hire on the director level, but a hire nonetheless. Communications duties will be shared by Davasher-Wisdom, the new employees and Glick.

Gourmet Popsicle shop coming to Wild and Woolly Video building

Steel City Pops sells gourmet Popsicles similar to Mexican paletas. | Facebook

Steel City Pops sells gourmet Popsicles similar to Mexican paletas. | Facebook

The closure of Wild and Woolly Video in March was both sad because of its history in the neighborhood and expected given the increasing popularity of online video streaming websites such as Netflix and Hulu.

However, the departure of the longtime business from 1021 Bardstown Road has made room for another unique business to move into Louisville.

Alabama-based gourmet Popsicle company Steel City Pops plans to open its first Louisville location there — the start of a broader plan to expand into the state. Currently, Steel City Pops has six locations in Alabama and five in Texas.

A Steel City Pops store in Lexington is already in the works for Summit at Fritz Farm, a $156-million retail center at Man o’ War Boulevard and Nicholasville Road, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Steel City Pops’ products are not like the traditional Popsicles one buys at the store. They are closer in relation to paletas, a Mexican frozen treat.

The Popsicles are made with all-natural organic ingredients and sweetened with raw cane sugar, according to Steel City Pops’ website. Flavors include Arnold Palmer, maple bacon with bourbon, butter pecan, pineapple jalapeño and plum with rosemary.

Steel City Pops also serves banana pudding and vanilla chocolate chip cookie pops.

Steel City Pops will lease the building from owner Todd Brashear, who also owned Wild and Woolly Video.

Louisville commercial real estate agency The Shopping Center Group represented Steel City Pops in the deal. Louisville-based real estate firm TRIO Commercial Property Group represented Brashear.

“It is a neat concept,” said Justin Baker, co-founder and principal broker for TRIO. “We thought it was a great fit for the area.” —Caitlin Bowling

Southwest Louisville apartment complex sells for $5.85 million

Kennedy Place Townhomes off Dixie Highway recently sold. | Courtesy of Jefferson County PVA

Kennedy Place Townhomes off Dixie Highway recently sold. | Courtesy of Jefferson County PVA

The market is good for companies looking to sell quality multifamily residences, according to Craig Collins, investment brokerage advisor with real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

Collins just sold the 88-unit Kennedy Place Townhomes off Dixie Highway for $5.85 million. The buyer was Bowling Green, Ky.-based real estate company Monticello Properties.

The sellers are Louisvillians Scott Hall, Ricky Hall and Sheila Friess, according to records from the Kentucky Secretary of State.

“They needed to diversify some of their assets, and they chose Kennedy Place because it was going to be top dollar,” Collins said. “It’s a really nice product and very well built. I think it’s been running 100 percent (occupancy) for a long time, so it makes an excellent investment.”

The apartments include granite countertops, tiled floors and wood cabinets. Some also include a private patio.

Kennedy Place Townhomes spent about four months on the market and had eight offers, Collins said, adding that there is a market for these type multifamily homes.

He expects Louisville developer Steve Poe’s three Highlands area apartment complexes to fair just as well because of their location and amenities. Cushman & Wakefield is representing Poe Companies in that sale.

But back to Kennedy Place Townhomes: New owner Jack Scheidler of Monticello Properties plans to make minor cosmetic changes to the building and its rental units.

“It is in relatively good condition,” he told IL. “In this case, it is mostly minor upgrades.”

Scheidler owns another apartment complex less than 3 miles away called Newberry Parc and said the property will be easy to manage for that reason.

As for rents, Scheidler said some residents already are paying market rate — $750 to $775 a month — but other longtime renters are below that. He expects to bring everyone in line with market rate.  —Caitlin Bowling

‘Cruise ship on land’: Can we make a reservation decades in advance?

Vavatch OrbitalChamberlain Senior Care of Cincinnati recently acquired 14.8 acres at 5217 Chamberlain Lane to build a “cruise ship on land” — a full-service senior care living facility adjacent to Norton Commons.

The campus will include a mix of independent living, assisted living and memory care residences, plus amenities that cater to residents’ wants and needs, said Ian Guttman, VP of Hills Properties Inc. of Cincinnati and Chamberlain Senior Care’s principal.

According to the news release (which admittedly grabbed our attention with the line “cruise ship on land”): “The senior housing campus will consist of a main building that will include amenities such as a restaurant, bistro, tavern and lounges; activity rooms and card room; resident retreat equipped with a coffee bar; a fitness center, spa and therapy pool with underwater treadmills; theatre room; and chapel.”

The residence will offer meals, a shuttle and shore excursions… er, field trips.

The memory care unit will have its own building, dining room and two court yards.

Chamberlain Senior Care is slated to break ground in the first quarter of 2016, with completion in early 2017. Sign me up! — Melissa Chipman

Which Wich franchisee plans to open at least four stores in Kentuckiana

Jason Matzek wasn’t necessarily looking to open a restaurant business in Louisville when he found Which Wich, the Dallas-based sandwich franchise.

The turkey bacon ranch combo meal is one of many items offered by Which Wich. | Courtesy of Which Wich

The turkey bacon ranch combo meal is one of many items offered by Which Wich. | Courtesy of Which Wich

“I was basically looking for something that spoke to me,” said Matzek, whose work background is in sales and finance. “When I found this concept, it really seemed to fit with who I am as a person.”

Matzek was an MBA student at Bellarmine University when he was first introduced to the brand via a class project about franchising.

About a year later on Oct. 5, he opened his first Which Wich here in Louisville at Old Brownsboro Crossing, 9850 Von Allmen Court, Suite 103.

The store has 15 employees and is drawing both a lunch and dinner crowd.

“It’s beating all expectations early,” Matzek said.

Matzek is looking for his second location of around 1,500-2,000 square feet but has not settled on a place.

“We are just looking for a good blend of businesses as well as residential in the surrounding area,” he said.

The inaugural location is near offices, Norton Hospital, other businesses and the fast-growing Norton Commons neighborhood, Matzek said.

He has the franchising rights for the Kentuckiana region, stretching from Seymour, Ind. down to Shelbyville, Ky. Eventually, Matzek said he’d like to run four or five. —Caitlin Bowling

NuLu store owners consolidate Scout, Ethyl 3.9

Operating two stores got to be too much of a hassle, said Sam Bassett, co-owner of Scout and Ethyl 3.9.

Scout in NuLu sells a little bit of everything. | Eli Keel

Scout in NuLu sells a little bit of everything. | Eli Keel

“It became a headache to do both stores, and we just weren’t getting the traffic,” Bassett told Insider Louisville.

Rather than give up on either, Bassett and co-owner Jim George decided to consolidate the two NuLu stores in one location, 720 E. Market St., where Scout already was operating.

Ethyl 3.9 is now the name for the men’s clothing area within Scout, which sells home decor, furniture, gift items and women’s clothing. The move became official this past Sunday.

Prior to the consolidation, Ethyl 3.9 operated as a standalone men’s clothing store at 714 E. Market St. It carried and still carries brands including Jake Spade, Billy Reid and W.R.K.

Part of the problem with the former Ethyl 3.9 store, Bassett said, was that it was too small. The 1,100-square-foot space made people feel like they were on top of one another, he said. “In a small space like that it is hard to make people feel comfortable. Guys are weird about shopping anyway.”

No word yet on what’s going into the cozy NuLu storefront that’s now vacant. —Caitlin Bowling

$125,000 Orphan Barrel experience makes Neiman Marcus Fantasy Gift catalogue 

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

If you’re one of the 900,000 homes in the country that receive the annual Neiman Marcus Christmas Book featuring high-end gift suggestions, then I’d like to be on your Christmas list. One of the 11 gifts in this year’s Fantasy Gift Collection catalogue is the Orphan Barrel Project/Stitzel-Weller Distillery experience, which retails for a mere $125,000.

If you have that much to spare, you and five buddies will receive a trip to the south Louisville distillery, taste some barrels and the current line of Orphan Barrel whiskies, create two new Orphan Barrel variants, stock your bar with 24 bottles each of the eight bourbons including the two you created, and get a fancy one-of-a-kind handcrafted cabinet made by reclaimed wood from the distillery to show it off in.

This isn’t the most expensive item in the 89th annual catalogue. That honor goes to the Dream Trip to India for $400,000.

So if you split the bourbon gift six ways, that’s about $20,000 per person. So what say you? You in? Merry Christmas! —Sara Havens

SCOOOOORE! — Sports apparel company to add 600 jobs

National sports apparel company Fanatics is reveling in prime football season. Surging demand for sports goods and recent growth means Fanatics — based on National Turnpike in south Louisville — will be hiring around 600 new employees by the end of the year. They’ve enlisted recruitment firm Randstad to help.

Positions available include: order pickers, graphic setters, heat applied graphic operators and receiving/inbound professionals.

If you’re interested, there are two local job fairs

  • Wednesday, Oct. 21, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Mellwood Center, 1860 Mellwood Ave.
  • Monday, Oct. 12 and Oct. 19, 9 a.m. – noon at the Kentucky Employment Services Center, 6201 Preston Hwy., Suite A

More information is available here.

We read the KFC comic book so you don’t have to

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 12.43.36 PMYeah. You heard that right. Not only is it a KFC comic book, it’s a DC comic that fits into the DC Multiverse series. For non-comic nerds, DC has a storyline where there are parallel universes, and Earth-3 is the home of basically mirror-figures of popular superheroes like bad Superman and good Lex Luthor.

In the comic, “The Colonel of Two Worlds,” Captain Cold gets sucked into Earth-3 to join a band of evil-doers, the head honcho of which is Colonel Sunder, whose main plan for spreading evil in the world appears to be making and selling crappy fried chicken… and maybe robbing banks?

Colonel Sunder, who looks like Colonel Sanders but dressed in black, brags about making fried chicken “the easy way.” Well, back on regular Earth, Colonel Sanders gets wind of this — he sees Colonel Sunder’s “Easy Fried Chicken” restaurant’s commercial on TV — and loses his mind, smashes the TV and vows revenge.

On his way to “Easy Fried Chicken” he bumps into the Flash and the Green Lantern who warn him not to go into the store. He blows them off: “Ain’t nothin’ more important than a man’s honor.” Violence ensues. Good guy wins.

The comic in physical form debuted at the NYC Comic Con this past weekend. You can read it here online. The book is by Tony Bedard and Tom Derenick. —Melissa Chipman

Hilarious: Sneak preview of FirstBuild’s upcoming web series ‘Internet of Tiles’

Remember last month when we told you about FirstBuild’s upcoming web series “Internet of Tiles”? The one featuring software engineer Myles Caley and electronics engineer Tim Gillespie hacking away at non-appliance stuff? It’s coming soon, but in the meantime they’ve posted a 1:30 minute blooper reel.

Were there beers involved? We don’t know. Watch below. — Melissa Chipman