Avalon

(Editor’s note: Steve Coomes and Terry Boyd contributed to this post.)

Insider Louisville’s real estate sources told us weeks ago about multiple investors making mad dashes to acquire the Avalon restaurant property at 1314 Bardstown Rd. after it was closed by owner Steve Clements.

In Louisville’s biggest restaurant meltdown ever, Clements lost his 25-year-old catering contract with the Kentucky Derby Museum on Friday, June 27, then closed Avalon on Sunday, July 1.

Now that sources confirm the deal is done, we’ll work a tired but appropriate Olympic analogy to say the tape is broken and the winner is … a partnership including many of the investors behind The Silver Dollar restaurant and honky tonk on Frankfort Ave. in Clifton.

Local members of the partnership include former 732 Social co-owner Larry Rice and attorney Shawn Cantley.

Michael Rubel from Chicago’s ultra-chicThe Violet Hour and funky Big Star also is a Silver Dollar investor.

We’re hearing other major biz players connected to the purchase and rehab of the Silver Dollar building, a 19th Century firehouse, may also be involved

Rice confirmed he is part of a deal, but did not call back for an in-depth interview scheduled for this morning.

What we do know is the Rice/Cantley/Rubel partnership beat out some big-name investors.

As soon as the news about Avalon closing hit last month, our cell phones were ringing off the hooks, with top brokers calling, trying to get in touch with Clements to make offers. The three-building complex on about one-third of an acre is one of the best-located properties in Louisville’s top restaurant row, plus it has the snazziest patio going.

(Editor’s note: The Louisville-Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator website doesn’t show a transfer yet. The property tax assessment – based on the latest purchase price – is $625,000.)

We’re working with our real estate insiders to get more of the juicy details.

Had we been able to interview Rice & Co. in depth, we would have asked them how they can top The Silver Dollar, which opened in November of last year.

The times we’ve been there, the place has been packed with a broad demographic … young execs headed home from work sitting cheek -to-jowl at the bar with a diverse crowd from the surrounding neighborhoods. Young and old, black and white. The best of the Bakersfield sound was playing, rotating Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam with Merle Haggard. The food was good, the bourbon plentiful and the ambiance unbeatable.

So, do they put a twist on that Silver Dollar magic for the Highlands? Do they simply revive Avalon, which has its own fan base? Do do they have another bigger and better concept they can pull out of their collective hats capable of generating the kind of revenue they’re going to need  at what has to be a pretty expensive investment?

More as we know more ….