Welcome to the Aug. 15 Monday Business Briefing, your private business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.

Quest Outdoors building on Frankfort Avenue gets new owner

The retail store will be renovated and serve as an office space. | Courtesy of Jefferson County PVA

The retail store will be renovated and serve as an office space. | Courtesy of Jefferson County PVA

No, it’s not a restaurant.

Between Bourbon’s Bistro, The Hub, The Irish Rover, Volare and others, that section of Frankfort Avenue already has plenty.

Instead, those restaurants may get some new business when Studio A Architecture moves into 2230 Frankfort Ave. Studio A’s owner Vadim Kaplan bought the property from Quest Outdoors founders Donald and Barbara Burch for $760,000. Louisville-based real estate company PRG Commercial Property Advisors represented both parties.

“It’s very exciting for the neighborhood,” said Tyler Smith, executive vice president of PRG. “It’s a great property and a great infill location.”

Studio A’s office is currently on Bardstown Road, which offers an urban atmosphere where employees can walk to stores and restaurants, but the company has outgrown the space.

“We basically have doubled in the past couple years in size, and we don’t have enough room,” Kaplan said. “We really like our location on Bardstown Road …and we wanted to have something similar.”

The 5,700-square-foot building on Frankfort Avenue provides the business with visibility as well as decent parking and more space for future growth. Studio A has 11 employees but is looking to add two more, possibly a licensed architect or an architectural designer, Kaplan said.

Once renovations are complete, the interior will look completely different with all new finishes, upgraded restrooms, conference rooms, new lighting and built-in furniture. Kaplan declined to say how much he planned to invest in the renovations.

“We are going to spend as much as we need to to make it a nice contemporary office,” he said.

Kaplan projects a late-October move-in date. —Caitlin Bowling

Glass company unveils new $4M production facility

Slugger Field, one of the many local structures for which Louisville Plate Glass has supplied glass. | Courtesy of LPG.

Slugger Field, one of the many local structures for which Louisville Plate Glass has supplied glass. | Courtesy of LPG.

A century-old glass company has opened a $4 million production facility in Newburg that the owner hopes will allow him to add 60 jobs in the next two years.

Louisville Plate Glass produces glass primarily for the commercial construction industry. Its products have been used locally in such prominent structures as the Rudd Heart and Lung Center, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and Slugger Field.

State and local officials officially opened LPG’s new 60,000-square-foot building, at 4301 Chefs way, on Thursday.

CEO Bill Stone, who bought the company in 1968, told IL that the company employs 40, but he expects solid growth to allow him to add 60 employees in the next couple of years.

The glass manufacturing industry was hit hard by the recession, he said. Many of LPG’s competitors went out of business. As the economy improved, the industry’s limited capacity brought lots of business to the remaining glass makers, including LPG.

In 1999, Stone had agreed to merge with United Glass, but when his partners considered closing the Louisville operation in 2009, he re-acquired 100 percent ownership of the Louisville business. Since then, sales have doubled, he said, in part because the company expanded its product line and geographic reach.

LPG now serves Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana, and two years ago expanded into heavy security glass.

Stone recently agreed to sell the company to Florida-based Aldora Aluminum & Glass Products. At 80 years old, Stone said he wanted to have a succession plan in place, and he wanted a partner that would assure that the operations remain in Louisville and that the employees are treated fairly.

Aldora’s values and culture match those of LPG, Stone said, and by contract, the Louisville company’s name and location will remain so long as Aldora is the majority owner.

Stone said he is working more from home, but retirement is not in his personality. He plans to remain with LPG “until Aldora gets tired of me,” he said with a laugh. Boris Ladwig

Norton offers scalp cooling to help cancer patients

A screenshot from DigniCap's website.

A screenshot from DigniCap’s website.

Norton Cancer Institute is helping breast cancer patients avoid chemotherapy-induced hair loss through a scalp cooling cap.

The institute said it is the state’s first cancer care provider to offer patients help from the DigniCap, which uses “advanced technology and a patented tight-fitting (silicone cooling) cap to cool the patient’s scalp.”

Norton said in a press release that DigniCap is the only FDA-approved treatment to prevent chemotherapy-induced hair loss in breast cancer patients.

L-Norton_HealthcareHair loss “is typically associated with significant distress and concern,” Norton said.

“Saving your hair takes a back seat to saving your life, but think about what it means to breast cancer patients if you can do both,” said Dr. Joseph Flynn, the institute’s physician-in-chief. “Offering patients the option to save their hair reflects our focus on compassionate care for the body, and the person within.”

The cap works with a liquid coolant, which causes blood vessels to narrow and reduces the delivery of chemotherapy drugs to the scalp — though Norton noted that even with the cooling system “most patients still lose at least a small amount of their hair.” —Boris Ladwig

Blackstone Media CEO moves to the Big Apple

Taylor Trusty, CEO of Blackstone Media, has pulled up stakes and moved to New York City. On. Aug. 25, Blackstone will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary here in Louisville; the local office is now helmed by COO Rebecca Brady.

Trusty has long touted Blackstone’s New York City clients, but the company has never had a full-time presence there.

Where is he living? Where is the new office? What was the tipping point that got him to move?

We don’t know. We’ve reached out but haven’t heard back.

According to his Facebook page, this has been a dream since he was a kid. The post:

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We’ll let you know as we know more. —Melissa Chipman

Jason Cohen Wood Artisan moves shop/workshop to NuLu

Photo by Sarah Kelley

Woodworker moves into 218 S. Shelby St. | Photo by Sarah Kelley

If Insider Louisville were still located at our original NuLu HQ, we’d practically be neighbors to wood artisan Jason Cohen. (Hope he doesn’t blow too much money at Please & Thank You like many of us did.)

After four years of working out of a shop on East Main across from Lincoln Elementary, Cohen is moving his wood shop and store to South Shelby Street next to RedeApp HQ. Currently the long-vacant historic building is being painted dark blue following the completion of extensive interior renovations.

Cohen specializes in repurposing bourbon barrels into furniture. His wares were featured in Garden & Gun’s 2011 “Best of the South” issue.

To learn more about Jason Cohen’s work, visit his professional website here. –Melissa Chipman

21c Lexington unveils interactive, anti-racism artwork to contrast Confederate statue

Lexington resident Brenda Flanagan poses with "Unlearn Fear + Hate." | Courtesy of 21c Museum Hotel

Lexington resident Brenda Flanagan poses with “Unlearn Fear + Hate.” | Courtesy of 21c Museum Hotel

21c Museum Hotel — known for championing modern art that challenges conventional thinking — has joined the conversation in Lexington about racism. 21c Lexington‘s newest installation, titled “Unlearn Fear + Hate,” is a 4-foot-wide steel halo that bears the famous words of Affrilachian poet Frank X Walker; the installation faces two controversial Confederate soldier statues that stand near the old Lexington Courthouse

Created by Lexington artists Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova, both proponents of removing the nearby Civil War statues, the artwork is meant to spark conversation on the topic, allowing everyone to have a voice. The artists want people to take pictures with the halo and share them on social media, becoming sort of a visual petition on the topic.

According to an article in the Lexington Herald Leader, the artists hope to foster an understanding of everyone’s point of view.

“We are hopeful that by sharing photographs and sharing these photographs and also sharing what people are fearful of, will allow ourselves to be humanized for other people, because once you realize someone is just as afraid as you are, and maybe they’re afraid of you and you’re afraid of them, that can really work to change hearts and minds,” Todorova said at the unveiling, which took place Thursday, Aug. 11.

The piece will be displayed at 21c Lexington through February. —Sara Havens

Taco Bell expanding in India, going more upscale

tacobell-logo1Louisville-based Yum! Brands has opened thousands of Pizza Hut and KFC stores internationally, but the fast-food giant has been slower out of the gate with its Mexican fast-food subsidiary Taco Bell.

Taco Bell already had some locations in India in 2010, a Quartz story reports, but they didn’t make waves. Residents were unfamiliar with Mexican food back then.

Now, with the popularity of foreign cooking shows and food festivals, Indians are more apt to try something new, but they want quality, so Taco Bell India is looking to seize the moment by upgrading its menu and its look, Quartz reported.

The new Taco Bells in India “feature red brick walls, dim lighting and graffiti that spells out the words ‘quesedilla’ and ‘nachos’ in Hindi” and serve up menu items including loaded nachos, taco-sliders and Mexican fries at higher prices, Quartz wrote. Stores also offer table service, beers on tap and cocktails.

“We don’t want to be a regular fast-food chain but something above that,” Ankush Tuli, managing director of Taco Bell India, told Quartz.

Yum is looking to grow the number of Taco Bell locations operating internationally from 280 to 1,550 stores in the next seven year. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to open its first Taco Bell in China, a country with strong consumer buying power.

Multiple outlets including Franchise India have reported that Taco Bell will expand into 12 new cities in India during the next four years. Those cities include Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Chennai, Pune and Ahmadabad.

Tuli said Taco Bell India will focus on expanding in and into major cities and surrounding metro areas. —Caitlin Bowling

Carl Casper’s auto show bids farewell

Carl Casper farewellCarl Casper’s Custom Auto Show will rumble into Louisville one final time in February before the event’s founder retires.

The show, at the Kentucky Exposition Center, typically draws tens of thousands of visitors who get an up-close look at vintage, movie and custom-built cars, monster trucks and auto-related competitions. The show also often features celebrity guests and gives manufacturers and dealers an opportunity to show their products.

The show’s official website says that the Feb. 25 and 26 show, the 55th, will be a “Farewell Retirement Tribute Celebration.” Casper and the show’s co-director, Carlos Lewis, could not be reached. —Boris Ladwig

Back-to-school shopping bargains with The New Blak

Photo by The New Blak

Photo by The New Blak

Women’s clothing designer Amanda Dare of The New Blak is making room for new inventory by offering a 50 percent off everything end-of-summer sale. Really everything. From the handmade dresses all the way down to the logo tote bags.

In June, we reported that The New Blak was opening a mobile boutique (in addition to their online sales). Dare said it’s really too hot to be out on the truck and by having the sale online, people could shop right from their air-conditioned houses.

“It is the best deal we will ever do and even our in-stock dresses are included,” Dare told us. “We are gearing up for the fall and have been working hard on new items, so it is time to clear out our summer line to make room for the new fall items.”

What’s next? Dare said, “In September we are debuting three new dresses to the line as well as new tops and cardigans.” They will also be selling bags made by Dhwani Shah, a local handbag designer. —Melissa Chipman

Moonshine University releases schedule for 2017 classes

What is a Bourbon Steward and how do I become one? Moonshine University has released its schedule for Executive Bourbon Steward Training and Certification and other courses for the first half of 2017. Some of the classes are one-day appreciation classes, others are full-on weeklong training for pros.

Moonshine University is a spirits training facility that’s part of the Distilled Spirits Epicenter, opened four years ago by David Dafoe, CEO of Flavorman, the beverage development lab.

I attended the Bourbon Making workshop this summer and had a blast and learned a lot. If you’re a little bit more than a casual aficionado of spirits, you might want to put a class on your birthday/holiday list. —Melissa Chipman

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