A lot of new restaurants opened up in The 'Ville this year -- but that space doesn't come from nowhere, and for every ribbon cutting, there was an everything-else cutting too. Here are the most significant, and occasionally beloved restaurant closings of 2014.
NuLu La Coop, please don't go! We beg of you. What will we do without your classy French apéritifs? Your escargot? The duck cassoulet? And the steak frites -- oh the steak frites! Our heart is breaking at the recent announcement that New Year's Eve will be your last night of service. We suppose there is something to be said for going out on top. But that doesn't mean we can't be sad.
The Tumbleweed at Waterfront Park
Downtown Okay, okay, we can't say we're exactly sad to see The Tumbleweed go. But it is a shame to see its location, with the large deck overlooking the riverfront and the city skyline, go to waste. Whispers began swirling that a new concept, spearheaded by the bright restauranteur minds of those behind La Coop and Doc Crow's, would soon take over this prime location.
NuLu We're bummed it didn't work out for Taco Punk. Its commitment to using locally sourced meats and vegetables was admirable and the fast-casual concept was a welcome addition to the NuLu restaurant scene, a nice change of pace from the otherwise predominantly fine-dining set.
Highlands The good news is that there is more than one Papalinos. The bad news is that the second location, in Springhurst, just doesn't have the same vibe that the Baxter Ave outpost did, feeding hungry Highlanders night after night. A lease dispute was cited as the reason for the shuttering this one, NOT poor sales.
De la Torre's
Highlands 25 years is a long run. We would have loved to have seen De la Torre's go on for 25 more but, alas, owners Maggie and Miguel de La Torre chose to close up shop this year in favor of a much deserved retirement.
Downtown With a "from the ground up" philosophy, Relish concentrated on cooking ingredient-focused dishes in healthful ways, ensuring that flavor led the charge and one ever felt that they were eating "health food". Unfortunately, the demand did not match the bills and, much to our disappointment, Relish called it quits in April this year.
Highlands When Le Gallo Rosso departed the Highlands location it had occupied for eight years to make room for the new restaurant Roux, Louisvillians were left asking themselves where they could find Italian comfort food and meatballs the size of a softball. Well, a reopening is in the works, with a space secured at the Mellwood Arts Center.
Main Street Café
Downtown Main Street Café had a short, but delicious run, bringing a new breakfast and lunch option to the downtown 9-to-5 set in 2012. Sadly, it closed up shop and left the Ice House building this year, taking with it its house-cured bacon, fresh local salads, and the spicy and addictive B.A.T.S. Sandwich, a play on a BLT with serrano pickles and smashed avocado added for good measure.
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