Barren no more: New businesses breathe life into Barret Avenue corridor

Shanna Simpson Photography opened April 1 in the former Revelry Gallery space. | Photo by Shanna Simpson

Shanna Simpson Photography opened April 1 in the former Revelry Gallery space. | Photo by Shanna Simpson

As proof that life goes on after Lynn’s, the once-barren Barret Avenue corridor is getting new tenants: Shanna Simpson Photography moved in at 980 Barret Ave. (in the former Revelry Gallery spot) earlier this month; Hound Dog Press will soon be up and running at 1000 Barret Ave. (former Nuts N Stuff spot); and Le Rack, a boutique and consignment shop, is moving in at 982 Barret (in the former Regalo Gifts spot) in May.

As Insider reported in January, Regalo was the latest of several businesses to evacuate the area, partly due to diminished foot traffic as the former Lynn’s Paradise Cafe sits empty. Neighborhood residents were concerned the business corridor would remain deserted until something happened with the abandoned tourist trap. The three businesses mentioned above are a positive sign the stretch is moving in the right direction — sans Lynn’s.

Photographer Shanna Simpson says business has been good since she opened April 1. Her studio specializes in senior portraits, as well as newborn and family sessions. She says she was drawn to the building’s quaint exterior, which was painted turquoise for the former Revelry Gallery.

“The first time I saw it was in June of last year,” says Simpson. “Something just told me this is where I needed to be. And, I mean, have you seen the outside? How perfectly cute is it?”

She says she was touched by how many neighbors have stopped in to welcome her to the block. She also admits that since she wasn’t around when Lynn’s was open, she doesn’t know what kind of difference it would make if it were to operate as a restaurant again.

“As with any business, it’s always good for people to see you and know you’re there,” she says. “So I’m sure if it was to open, it would help the awareness of my business being here and get more people back to this part of town.”

Le Rack will open in May next to Lynn's Paradise Cafe. | Photo by Sara Havens

Le Rack will open in May next to Lynn’s Paradise Cafe. | Photo by Sara Havens

Jen Rosenstein hopes to have Le Rack open in mid May. She was quite familiar with the corridor since her father, Gene Rosenstein, owns most of the properties there, and she’s lived in the Highlands most of her life.

Rosenstein’s consignment boutique will include both men’s and women’s attire, jewelry, accessories and small furniture. She’s seeking to keep it both affordable and welcoming, she says.

While she’d love to see a restaurant open up in the Lynn’s spot, she’s not going to rely on it for the success of her store. “More foot traffic is a good thing, but I’m hoping people will come to the area to check out what’s new here,” she says.

Rosenstein worked in consignment for years before getting into the medical field. Since having a baby, she wants a more steady schedule and has always wanted to own and operate her own business.

Hound Dog Press co-owner Nick Baute tells Insider they’re still hard at work moving their East Market shop to the new Barret location. Transporting large press machines is no easy feat, and there is still some work to do with the trim and displays, he says.

“We should be fully up and running with retail completed at some point in May,” Baute says.

Louisville mobile horse racing game adds Android, has international reach

derpyBack in March we introduced you to Louisville-based Mommy’s Best Games’ new mobile game, Finger Derpy, which celebrates the Kentucky Derby and local institutions like Louisville Stoneware and the Louisville Orchestra. When it debuted, it was launched in iOS only; now it’s on Android, too.

As of last week, the game had seen more than 33,000 downloads from 148 countries, including Ethiopia, Jamaica and Malta. It was also selected as one of Apple’s “Best New Games.”

Speaking of the game’s international reach, here’s a YouTube video of someone explaining how to play the game in Vietnamese: