Monday Business Briefing: Sypris faces delisting; General Mills items for auction; new dog-themed eatery; Frankfort Ave. salon rebrands; and more

Welcome to the Jan. 23 Monday Business Briefing, your private business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.

Sypris shares up 9% for the year, still faces Nasdaq delisting

Shares of Louisville-based Sypris Solutions have gained more than 9 percent so far this year — but at 96 cents per share, the company still faces being delisted from the Nasdaq exchange because of its low price.

In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said that it received a letter from Nasdaq officials indicating that “we are not currently in compliance with the requirement to maintain a minimum bid price of $1 per share.”

To regain compliance, the company’s share price “must be at least $1 per share for ten consecutive business” by July 5.

Shares of Sypris Solutions are up 9 percent so far this year, but at 96 cents, they’re still too low to be in compliance with Nasdaq rules. | Courtesy of

“We intend to monitor the closing bid price of our common stock and consider our available options in the event that the closing bid price of our common stock remains below $1 per share closing bid price,” the company said. “However, there can be no assurance that we will be able to regain compliance with the minimum bid price requirement or maintain compliance with the other listing requirements.”

The company in the third quarter reported a gross net loss of $721,000, as cost of sales, at $22.1 million, exceeded net revenue. Sypris Solutions recorded net income of $21 million because of the sale of its Cyber Security Solutions business for $42 million. The company also said that it expects its move from its West Broadway facility to a new location would reduce its operating facility costs by about $2 million this year.

The company will release fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 2. —Boris Ladwig

Earnings season begins for local companies

The S.&P. 500 is up 1.45 percent so far this year. | Courtesy of

Share prices of some local companies already this year have seen some big swings (CafePress is up nearly 19 percent), and the movements are likely to accelerate as the corporations begin releasing earnings reports.

Two Louisville-based banks are scheduled to post earnings this week: Stock Yards Bancorp, whose shares are down 4.8 percent so far this year, will release results Wednesday. Republic Bancorp, down 5.2 percent so far this year, will follow on Friday.

Ford Motor Co., which has two large manufacturing plants in Louisville, will release earnings on Thursday. Shares of the automaker are up 1.9 percent so far this year.

And keep an eye out for a ruling on Aetna’s planned acquisition of Humana (down 1.8 percent so far this year). A judge could issue a ruling any day. Aetna (down 1.2 percent) is scheduled to release earnings on Jan. 31. Humana will follow on Feb. 8.

Also interesting: The other court case concerning big health care companies, Anthem and Cigna, appears headed toward a victory for the U.S. Department of Justice, according to The New York Post. Citing “sources,” the paper said that the judge in the case is expected to block the deal over antitrust concerns. —Boris Ladwig

Auction set for equipment from New Albany General Mills plant

The General Mills plant in New Albany closed in August 2016.| Photo by Caitlin Bowling

There’s no tenant for the former General Mills plant in New Albany yet, but the new owners are making efforts to clear the way for a potential tenant.

An auction has been scheduled for February to get rid of equipment and other items left behind by General Mills.

“We have it on the market, and we have been reaching out to different companies,” said Gregory Schain, principal of New Mill Capital Holdings. “When we bought it, it wasn’t a complete plant that we could market, but there is some stuff left that we want to clear so whoever comes in will have a blank slate.”

New Mill Capital Holdings, along with Tiger Capital Group, bought the plant in November for $5 million. The companies are looking to either sell or lease the plant, at 707 Pillsbury Lane, to a manufacturing business, Schain said.

The first day of the auction is set to start at 10 a.m. on Feb 17 at the plant and online. The auction will continue online until 10 a.m. on Feb, 21, according to New Mill Capital Holdings’ website.

There are more than 2,000 items that will be listed. A number of the items listed for auction are specialized equipment for the food industry, Schain said. However, it also includes screwdrivers, ladder and bearings that anyone can use.

It’s unclear when a tenant for the plant could be found, but Schain said: “We are optimistic. It’s a really nice building.” —Caitlin Bowling

New dog-themed restaurant opening today in Middletown

The founder of Rafferty’s, Daniel Davis, is opening a new concept in Louisville later today.

Called Double Dogs, it’s a family friendly sports restaurant, which serves up American-style bar food such as burgers, nachos, wings and hotdogs. The dog theme was inspired by Davis’ two pooches, Bo and Chancey.

The restaurant has 45 tables, 40 televisions and a full bar. Guests also can dine on the outdoor patio with their pets, and free dog treats are available for man’s best friend.

The Louisville store opens Monday at 3 p.m. at 13307 Shelbyville Road. It is the third location in Kentucky and the fifth overall.

To mark the grand opening, Double Dogs will recognize a Louisville Metro Police Department K-9, Bosco, and his handler, officer John Kirk, as well as present a donation to the Kentucky Humane Society.  —Caitlin Bowling

Here’s how construction at the new Thorntons headquarters is progressing

Thorntons’ new $27.8 million headquarters is nearly complete. | Courtesy of Thorntons

The new Thorntons headquarters is coming together.

At the end of April, the convenience store company’s executives and support staff are expected to move into the $27.8 million headquarters, according to Rodney Lloyd, chief development officer at Thorntons.

“Thorntons is proud to call Louisville its hometown, and we’re dedicated to contributing to the growth and economy of this great city,'” Lloyd said in a statement to Insider Louisville. “Upon completion, Thorntons employees will relocate to the new Store Support Center, situated off of Old Henry Road, east of the Gene Snyder Freeway, on a road we’ve proposed to name, ‘James Thornton Way,’ after our founder.”

Messer Construction are handling the construction of the building. Architectural firm TEG Architects designed the headquarters.

Thorntons received $2.6 million from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority to help pay for the construction, and the company is anticipated to create 110 new jobs.

Matt Thornton, Thorntons CEO, previously told IL that the new building will accommodate 10 to 15 years of growth. Thorntons also has the option of expanding the building in the future.

Building plans were revised following the groundbreaking; the building will now be 88,000 square feet, not 92,500 square feet. —Caitlin Bowling

City soliciting proposals for redeveloping the Urban Government Center

The Urban Government Center needs repairs and has a mold infestation. | Courtesy of Google Maps

Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government is asking developers to submit proposals for how they’d reimagine the former Urban Government Center site in Paristown Pointe.

“The city seeks a unique proposal to create and to implement an innovative and sustainable development plan for property at 768, 810 and 850 Barret Ave., 1235 E. Breckinridge and 814 Vine streets,” the city release states.

Submissions are due no later than March 15 and should reflect priorities established through multiple community input session.

Redevelopment proposals should include:

  • A concept plan showing the development proposed, mix of uses and unit counts where applicable
  • An explanation of financing, including proposed funding sources and any government incentives the applicant plans to ask for
  • A list of development partners and the development team’s qualifications
  • A commitment to adhere to the fair labor standards contained in Chapter 37 of the Louisville Metro Code of Ordinances

Metro government will host two informational sessions to allow potential applicants to ask questions. The sessions will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Jan.  26 and at 10 a.m. Feb. 4, both at 768 Barret Ave.

The Urban Government Center is 11.85 acres and includes four buildings, which city officials said previously may or may not be demolished depending on how costly remediation of the buildings is expected to be.

The property also is located just south of a site that will undergo a $28 million redevelopment, including a new 2,000-seat performance venue for the Kentucky Center for the Arts, an expansion of the existing Louisville Stoneware and a new taproom and brewery for Goodwood Brewing Co. —Caitlin Bowling

Anchal Project opens new Portland HQ

The nonprofit Anchal Project is hosting an open house at its new space in the Dolfinger Building in Portland. Anchal empowers marginalized women, largely women who have worked in the sex trade, in both India and the United States by teaching them textile skills and helping them earn money with their crafts.

On Jan. 27, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., the new space at 2500 Montgomery St. will be open to visitors. Anchal also has an urban dye garden, dyeScape, located at 1657 Portland Avenue.

“Our goal is to replicate our impact and holistic program to empower exploited women in Louisville,” said Colleen Clines, co-founder and chief executive, in a news release. “This move to Portland will bring our offices in close proximity to our dyeScape gardens where we lead natural dye training, employment opportunities and educational workshops for our program participants and local community.”

Anchal has four employees and looks to expand this year.

The Dolfinger Building was the old Montgomery Street School and is owned by Gill Holland. —Melissa Chipman

WaterStep exceeds fundraising goal by more than $100,000

In September 2016, Louisville’s WaterStep announced that $100,000 in matching funds had been secured for the nonprofit. That goal needed to be met by the end of the year. Now WaterStep has announced that it has raised $207,000 in that time period, exceeding the fundraising goal by $107,000.

The money was raised for WaterStep’s Living Waters Fund, which supplies unrestricted dollars to support WaterStep’s mission of providing safe water in the developing world and in disaster-stricken areas.

“We’ve been absolutely blown away by the generosity of this community and our supporters over the past three years,” said WaterStep founder and CEO Mark Hogg. “The beauty of the Living Water Fund is that it creates a multiplier effect by increasing the momentum of our own efforts, and continue to work towards efficiency and effectiveness.”

WaterStep’s HQ is at 625 Myrtle Street in Old Louisville. —Melissa Chipman

Local entrepreneur transforms his successful salon into a brand

Hair by Bennie and Friends is now NOVA Salon. | Courtesy of NOVA Salon

Residents in the Crescent Hill and Clifton neighborhoods may have noticed a new look for one of its longtime businesses. Hair by Bennie and Friends, at 2346 Frankfort Ave., has rebranded itself as NOVA Salon, a move business partners Bennie Pollard and Lindsay Reeves hope further their successful small-business brand.

Pollard, a two-time North American Hair Styling Awards recipient and entrepreneur, opened Hair by Bennie in 1992 and has grown his clientele steadily since then with innovative techniques, skillful employees and even his own line of hair products. He credits his success to the incorporation of key business principles and fostering a learning culture for his team of 25 employees.

“A learning culture facilitates growth,” Pollard said in a press release. “I am committed to learning and to positively impacting the beauty industry through the personal growth of NOVA Salon’s team. Our team members begin as students and achieve great success as lifelong learners.”

Pollard plans to expand his salon to other areas of Louisville, but exact locations have not yet been determined. His business model has been studied by other salon owners and small-business operators across the country.

NOVA Salon, which officially opened on Jan. 10, specializes in hair and makeup services. —Sara Havens

Red Barn Kitchen goes whole hog with monthly celebration

Red Barn Kitchen opened last year in the former Joe’s Older Than Dirt location. | Photo by Kevin Gibson

Southern barbecue restaurant Red Barn Kitchen will make a whole hog pig roast a regular feature at the Lyndon establishment.

Executive chef Reed Johnson first hosted the event in December and decided to make it a monthly tradition. The pig roasts will be held on the last Thursday of every month, starting Jan. 26.

“Whole hog is very much the hot trend in barbecue these days, but it’s actually the way I first learned to prepare meat,” Johnson said in a news release. The meat is slow-cooked for more than 15 hours.

The roast costs $15, which includes all-you-can-eat pork. From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on roast days, Red Barn Kitchen will have $2 Bud Light, Budweiser and Miller Lite.

Olé Restaurant Group owns Red Barn Kitchen. —Caitlin Bowling