El Camino finds new home on Goss Avenue

The Mexican restaurant and tiki bar El Camino closed its Highlands location in 2016. | File Photo

El Camino, a Mexican restaurant and tiki bar, will settle into a new home on Goss Avenue next to YesterNook — but that’s not all. The antique store YesterNook is moving.

Here’s the full explanation: The partners of Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger PLC have purchased the 0.6 acres that span 1031-1041 Goss Ave. for about $893,000. YesterNook owner Lynn Gould previously owned the land, which includes the YesterNook building. Gant Hill, of Gant Hill & Associates, represented the buyers and sellers.

The antique store will move out in the next 30 days and into the former Smoketown USA space at the corner of Oak and Logan streets, Gould said. Gould’s husband ran the restaurant but closed it back in October.

The space is smaller, but YesterNook could expand to the second floor of the building in the future, Gould said, adding that she expects to open in the Shelby Park location in March and maintain the same hours of operation. YesterNook will close at the end of the day Feb. 28; until then, it will open on Tuesdays as well.

Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger PLC will invest $400,000 in building renovations, said Shawn Cantley, a partner at the law firm, turning YesterNook into the firm’s new law offices for its 12 attorneys and 20 staff members. The renovations are expected to take about six months, Cantley said.

Here’s where El Camino comes in — Cantley is a partner in El Camino, which up until last year operated on Bardstown Road. The restaurant and bar’s Highlands space is now occupied by The Eagle.

Amid the news that El Camino was leaving the Highlands, Cantley repeatedly stated that the restaurant and bar would open somewhere else. Friday morning, Cantley confirmed to Insider Louisville that El Camino would open on Goss Avenue.

YesterNook will move to a smaller space in Louisville. | File Photo

“We’ve always really liked Germantown. It’s just a cool old working-class Louisville neighborhood, and of course, it’s seeing a revitalization,” Cantley said. “The way that it’s evolving, it’s perfect for that concept.”

Cantley, along with Larry Rice and his wife, Vanessa Cantley, are partners in The Silver Dollar and El Camino. Shawn Cantley and Rice also own The Pearl of Germantown with Rice’s girlfriend, Susie Hoyt.

While YesterNook will become the law offices, El Camino will get a brand-new 4,000-square-foot space built from the ground up on the land next to YesterNook building.

The law firm and El Camino will share a parking lot, but Cantley pointed out that Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger PLC will only need parking from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, while El Camino will use the parking lot starting at 5 p.m. and on the weekends.

“It will be perfect kind of synergy,” he said.

Cantley couldn’t provide many specifics about the new El Camino building and did not have a cost estimate.

“It is going to be its own. It’s going to have to be Germantown,” he said. “I’ve got some ideas in my head of how it will look, but I think Larry and I will get together with the architect that we are going to use and we will just start putting it together.”

The new El Camino will definitely have a sizable patio, though, Cantley said.

“That is such a big part of that concept,” he said, “that we have to have a really nice patio.”

The menu will change some but continue to focus on traditional, really well-made food, Cantley said. The bar program also is being reworked, though the look and feel of the tiki bar won’t change much.

“Opening up in a new space allows us to reinvent ourselves a little bit,” he said. “It’s harder to do that when you are sitting still in the same spot.”

El Camino’s owners want to serve high-quality cocktails at a lower price by fiddling with the recipes and switching to less expensive, but still premium spirits, he said.

He added that the rent at the Bardstown Road space was so high that El Camino had to focus on selling a lot of cocktails. That wasn’t conducive to maintaining a top-notch bar program such as what The Silver Dollar offers.

“We want people to come to Louisville, Ky., and have their minds blown by what we’re doing,” Cantley said.