Welcome to The Closing Bell. This is your last stop for biz scoops and big news before the weekend — a roundup of stories that can’t wait till Monday.

Spring has sprung, and we’re in a mood to talk commercial real estate — specifically, the future of a place you’ll recognize that has a certain, ahem, hidden quality to it. Also, a mainstay on Barret Avenue is doing some expanding (unfortunately, Lynn’s doesn’t get any credit). A long-lost bourbon is about to return to shelves, a new NuLu biz is building on boulders, and IL offers analysis on a trifecta of Louisville stocks — including a big local selloff.

Without further ado …

Owner of First Link grocery — on edge of NuLu — brings a huge price cut 

A USDA-approved meatpacking facility lies beneath the First Link grocery store near Liberty Green.

A USDA-approved meatpacking facility lies beneath the First Link grocery store near Liberty Green. | Photo by Stephen George

We told you in January that the First Link Discount Foods grocery store on East Liberty Street, at the edge of NuLu, was for sale. Owned by the Silverman family for generations, the low-cost store has fallen on hard times of late. And, well, things are popping in NuLu. Good timing.

It’s a peculiar building because there is a USDA-approved meatpacking facility in the basement. The Silvermans built it and once used it to process their own meats, but those days are past. Now it sits idle.

When we reported on First Link in Monday Business Briefing earlier this year, the Silvermans were asking a staggering $8.9 million. We told you to watch for that price to come down, and now it has, to about $4.9 million. The move was met with a new round of intrigue among insiders, who tell us the price cut is enough to start a conversation.

First Link is a big open-floor building in a gentrifying neighborhood. NuLu is on one side and Liberty Green the other (across the street is Metro Housing’s Dosker Manor, whose residents are First Link’s customer base). It’s a stone’s throw from the hospitals and the U of L Health Sciences campus.

In other words, it’s surrounded by millions of dollars in new and ongoing investment.

Still, it’s going to be an odd fit for a buyer, because the real value is in the basement. And Metro government wouldn’t allow another industrial meatpacking operation — along the lines of Swift, which would be a big expansion of this property — anywhere near Liberty Green (or, we’d think, anywhere near the urban core), right? Right.

Boutique artisan meats, anyone?

I.W. Harper bourbon returns to store shelves after 20-year hiatus

I.W. Harper back in the day

I.W. Harper back in the day

I.W. Harper bourbon was readily available and consumed in the United States until the 1990s, when it was pulled from American liquor store shelves and only sold in Asia — probably due to not-so-stellar sales and a tarnished image.

But this month, liquor giant Diageo is bringing back the highly sought after I.W. Harper to the U.S. market — with a few minor tweaks and a logo/bottle change.

I.W. Harper will be available as a 4-year and 15-year bourbon, the latter of which has a hefty $74.99 price tag. Evidently they’re going to keep the stuff scarce, driving prices up because of high demand. It’s a standard tact right now, as bourbon takes over the world.

Insider has been invited to an exclusive tasting and brand overview with American Whiskey Ambassador Doug Kragel next Thursday, so we’ll follow up with more details soon.