The owners of the restaurant Green District are keeping good on a promise they made in April to quickly open a downtown store.
The locally owned salad restaurant is building out the first-floor space at 225 S. Fifth St., which was a deli and convenience-type store.
But that’s not all — Green District’s owners Jordan Doepke, Chris Furlow, Joey Mascaro and Matt Petty have purchased the building, which is at least 127 years old, under the name Green District Innovations. The purchase price was $275,000.
“We have a goal of keeping the character and charm of the building, but bringing it up to 2017,” Petty said. “It’s the opportunity for us to have a neat piece of ownership in the Central Business District area, which continues to blossom.”
The group plans to renovate the entire interior of the building and lease the second and third floor to other businesses. It will also serve temporarily as the home base for Green District corporate.
The first floor already is under construction, with workers tearing out interior walls, flooring and ceiling tiles.
“It’s on the narrow side, but it’s just about perfect for the size we need,” Petty said. “The interior should be a fun, clean, fresh feeling space.”
The downtown location will focus more on carry-out business. It will have five or six salad chopping stations, compared to three at the St. Matthews location.
Furlow said they also are planning to offer catering at the downtown location and eventually delivery. Green District in St. Matthews will start testing delivery next week, offering it within a two-mile radius of the store.
The restaurant offers specialty salads, build-your-own salads and build-your-own wraps. Prices range from $6 to $10.
Green District downtown is expected to open sometime this fall. It will serve lunch Monday through Friday but could expand its hours to open on weekends once the Kentucky International Convention Center reopens.
The owners said they weren’t sure what the final investment in the building would be, but that is would likely exceed the cost of the building.
Green District’s first store opened at 126 Breckenridge Lane in a former Chop Shop Salads, which they assumed would be an easy conversion, Doepke said, but in the end, they replaced nearly everything in the store.
Since the restaurant opened in St. Matthews, the owners said, they’ve received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback and constructive criticism that has spurred their desire to open more locations and continue to tweak the concept.
“We just believe in this concept,” Furlow said. “We really want to make sure we bring healthy food to Louisville and the surrounding areas quickly.”
The question isn’t why is Green District opening a second location less than a year after it first opened, Furlow said, it’s why aren’t we going from one location to 20.
“We really think Louisville could handle eight to 10 stores and that includes Southern Indiana,” Doepke said. “We’d like to corner that market before anybody else does.”
The owners are already on the look out for even more locations and, similar to the downtown location, they want to invest in real estate rather than just lease.