Monday Business Briefing: Intrigue over new Highlands restaurant; Holyfield & Co. to return; Baxter Centre vacancy; Rails bows out; and more
Welcome to the July 10 Monday Business Briefing, your private business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.
Himalayan restaurant planned for the Highlands
After Brownie’s “The Shed” Grille and Bar shut down for good this past spring, owner Jason Brown attributed the closure to a desire for something more hip at the Highlands location (in addition to a dearth of parking). “People want to drink out of plastic cups and sit on wobbly stools, that more hipster feel, I guess,” he told IL in May.
Well, hopefully hipsters like Himalayan cuisine, because that’s what’s coming to 1578 Bardstown Road, according to documents filed with both the city and state.
On July 5, Diwakar Enterprises LLC — doing business as “Himalayan Restaurant” — filed paperwork with Metro Codes and Regulations seeking a liquor license at the shuttered restaurant space in the Deer Park area of the Highlands. A search of the Kentucky Secretary of State database indicates the owner of the business is Teknath Niraul.
Attorney Rand Kruger, who is representing Niraul in establishing the business, said he was not at liberty to discuss specific details about his client or the restaurant. However, he did acknowledge that Niraul previously operated a restaurant in California.
IL asked the attorney to relay several questions to Niraul — including the precise type of fare the restaurant will serve — and were told, “He will probably get back to you closer to when he plans to open, probably later in July.”
Evander Holyfield plans to return to Louisville
Former heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield plans to organize more professional boxing in Louisville, with the next bouts likely happening in mid-September.
“Evander’s Tribute to Ali” on June 24 drew 5,700 spectators to Freedom Hall, where Louisville native Muhammad Ali got his pro start. The event was promoted by Holyfield’s Real Deal Sports & Entertainment.
“Real Deal absolutely considered this event a success,” said Eric Bentley, the company’s chief operating officer.
“The city truly embraced our company, athletes, and event and we received a tremendous amount of support,” Bentley told Insider via email.
Three organizations were involved in the event’s financing: Real Deal, the local nonprofit TKO Boxing and Kentucky Venues, which operates the convention and expo centers. While Real Deal received broadcasting revenue, and the other two partners shared ticket revenue.
“We will definitely be coming back to Louisville and will be announcing the next date shortly,” Bentley said.
TKO office manager Amelia Woodrum told Insider that the partners were still finalizing details but would target another event for mid-September.
She said TKO considered the event a success, too, though she could not share financial details. She said the nonprofit hopes to work with Real Deal two to three times per year.
Why does this little stretch of Baxter Ave. seem cursed?
The storefront at 962-B Baxter Avenue, next to El Nopal, is vacant. The space most recently held A Touch of Cali Fashion & Design, which sold T-shirts, fan gear and custom printed items. According to the Secretary of State’s database, the business was in “bad” standing when it closed.
That particular stretch of Baxter Avenue — a building called Baxter Centre — seems a little cursed when it comes to holding on to tenants, between the El Nopal space, the former Cali storefront and the ever-revolving hot dog stand/ice cream shop/Hillbilly Tea pop-up/cellphone store.
El Nopal was recently America.The Diner. Before that, it was Eggs over Baxter and before that it was Wasabiya. And before that, it was a bizarre little jazz club/restaurant of some sort.
A Touch of Cali was once Second Step, a great shoe store for people with bad feet. It was also, over the past decade, a series of “street fashion” stores like Cali.
Humana increases director compensation
Those directors receive an annual retainer of $115,000 and common stock valued at $165,000. The stock is awarded on the first business day in January.
Humana also increased some fees for committee chairs but left unchanged the directors’ annual charitable contributions match of up to $25,000 and group life, accidental death and business travel accident insurance benefits, with combined coverage of $800,000.
Nonemployee members of the board include Kurt J. Hilzinger, a partner at private equity firm Court Square Capital Partners; Frank A. D’Amelio, CFO of Pfizer; W. Roy Dunbar, former executive at Network Solutions and Eli Lilly; William J. McDonald, managing partner at marketing consulting firm Wild Irishman Advisory; William E. Mitchell, founding partner of Sequel Venture Partners; Dr. David B. Nash, founding dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health; James J. O’Brien, former CEO of Ashland Inc.; and Marissa T. Peterson, former executive vice president for Sun Microsystems.
Rails Craft Brew and Eatery not moving into Frankfort Ave. church
Frankfort Avenue Church of Christ will no longer be the future home of Indiana’s Rails Craft Brew and Eatery and the 25,000 square foot building is back on the market for $800,000.
Rails has three locations in Indiana and has announced that it will be opening a fourth location in Palm Beach, Fla., on Aug. 27. Owner Dave Lawrence is currently in Palm Beach prepping the location and was unavailable for comment.
When Lawrence first made plans to open in the church building he told Insider, “The Frankfort Avenue corridor is just a great spot. …We hope we can get the neighborhood behind us.”
According to a report on Wave3, that didn’t happen. Neighbors voiced concerns about parking, traffic and noise.
Escape sales fall, F-Series improves
Ford Motor Co. said its sales in June fell 5.1 percent from a year earlier, but blamed the decline primarily on the timing of orders from fleet customers. Sales to retail customer were flat, the automaker said.
Demand for the Louisville-made Escape in June were down 6.4 percent in contrast to a year earlier, but sales for the F-Series improved 9.8 percent. The F-Series includes the Louisville-made Super Duty.
Escape sales for the first six months of the year were up 1 percent, and SUV sales overall rose 2.9 percent, to a record 406,000.
Overall truck sales in June rose 1.2 percent, though demand fell for all models except the F-Series, the company’s biggest seller by far. Through June, Ford’s truck sales were up 2.9 percent.
Sales Analyst Erich Merkle said the automaker was selling more high-end F-Series models, especially of the Super Duty, which boosted the F-Series transaction price by $3,100, or more than twice the segment average.
“King Ranch, Lariat, Platinum, really high demand for high series Super Duties, with a lot of our class exclusive features that customers are demanding,” Merkle said.
Car sales continued to slide. In June, demand for Ford’s cars fell 24 percent. For the year, they’re down nearly 22 percent.
Kentucky Beef Council hosting Louisville Burger Week this month
Foodies will need to loosen their belts for this weeklong event.
The Kentucky Beef Council takes an opposing stance to the Chick-fil-A cow and is encouraging people to eat more beef during the week of July 24. The council, which represents more than 38,000 beef farmers in the state, has organized Louisville Burger Week, which runs July 24-30.
“From gourmet blends to off-menu specialties & even beer pairings – we will pay tribute to America’s sweetheart – the Hamburger!” the council states on the event website.
During Louisville Burger Week, participating restaurants will offer a $5 burger to customers and also give burger buyers a Burger Passports, in the same vein as the Bourbon Trail passport. Those who collect at least three stamps will be eligible to win a grill and “Ultimate Grill Out” kit.
Louisville participants include: Drake’s Paddock, Drake’s St. Matthew’s, Mellow Mushroom Highlands, Mellow Mushroom St. Matthew’s, HopCat, Freakin’ Unbelievable Burgers, Stout Burgers & Beers, Molly Malone’s Highlands, Molly Malone’s St. Matthews, Red Herring, Sullivan’s Tap House, Set at Theater Square and Bourbon Raw. Macaron Bar will offer a dessert burger.
Open air market coming to Sullivan University on July 29
Need to find a birthday gift for a friend? Want to treat your dog or treat yourself?
Sullivan University is hosting an open air market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 29 between The Bakery at Sullivan University and the College of Pharmacy, 2100 Gardiner Lane, according to the event page.
Vendors will sell food for dogs and animals, handmade jewelry, paintings and prints, among other goods, at the event called Louisville Open Air Fair. Vendors include The Bakery at Sullivan University, No Cents LLC printmaker, Spade and Table Farm and Dog Hill Pawps.
97.5 WAMZ will be playing music live on site. There also will be public restrooms and off-street parking for attendees.
Vendors can still sign up to sell their good in a 10-by-10-foot space; there’s no rental fee, but vendors must bring their own tent. Those interested can contact Taylor Carden at [email protected].
Local doctor getting national recognition
A Jewish Hospital doctor is getting some national exposure for her efforts to help more people survive heart attacks.
Dr. Lorrel Brown introduced an innovative bystander hands-only CPR training initiative at the Kentucky State Fair two years ago to increase the share of Kentuckians who can help people suffering from heart attacks.
Brown and KentuckyOne Health have held CPR clinics at public events in Louisville, including sporting events, to teach people how to administer CPR.
The American Heart Association is now sharing the initiative, calling it “a novel, 5-minute, multisensory training session to teach high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the public.”
Brown has told Insider that only about 10 percent of Americans know CPR, and a victim’s chances of getting help before paramedics arrive are about 30 percent nationwide. In Jefferson County in 2014, only about 20 percent of victims received CPR help from bystanders or family members. About 70 percent of heart attacks happen in the home.
If you witness someone having a heart attack, dial 911 and administer CPR: Push your hands, hard and fast in the center of the victim’s chest, to the beat of the Bee Gees song “Staying Alive.” The song is easy to remember, Brown said, and its speed of about 100 beats per minute coincides with the number of needed chest compressions.
University of Louisville Physicians will host a bystander CPR clinic at the Kentucky State Fair on Aug. 17. —Boris Ladwig