LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 18, 2016)—The Bristol Bar & Grille announced it will close its Prospect location at the Prospect Village Shopping Center (6051 Timber Ridge Dr.) on Sunday, May 29.

According to a news release, despite experiencing its most profitable year since opening in 2006 and making multiple proposals to lease the property, Bristol was not afforded the opportunity to negotiate with Kroger, which owns the center.

The restaurant’s other four locations in the Highlands, downtown, on the waterfront in Jeffersonville and on N. Hurstbourne Parkway will remain open. All the employees from the Prospect location will be offered positions within the company.

“I’m really disappointed that Kroger, who owns the shopping center, through their leasing agent did not negotiate a lease extension for the Bristol,” said Norb Paulin, managing member of HIPP Enterprises who owns the lease for the property. “The leasing agent’s unresponsiveness to Bristol’s offers were very disheartening. It appears to me that there was a predetermined strategy to remove the Bristol and go with another concept. I’m very sorry that our loyal customers and dedicated staff will no longer have a Bristol in Prospect to enjoy and work.”

Bristol Bar & Grille entered an agreement with Paulin’s Louisville-based group to manage the space in 2006. After a very successful decade making a home in Prospect, Bristol intended to negotiate to take over the lease from HIPP when it expired this month. Last week, Bristol was notified by Kroger’s leasing company that would not be an option.

“Since 1977, we have been Louisville’s neighborhood restaurant, no matter which part of town you live,” said Bristol’s director of operations T.J. Oakley. “We love the Prospect community and felt at home there. We want our customers to know it was not our choice to close the restaurant. For reasons unbeknownst to us, the owners of the space weren’t willing to even negotiate with us about continuing.” Oakley says they hope one day to return to the area.

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Steve Coomes is a restaurant veteran turned award-winning food, spirits and travel writer. In his 25-year career, he has edited and written for multiple national trade and consumer publications including Nation’s Restaurant News and Southern Living. He is a feature writer for Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass, Whisky Magazine, WhiskeyWash.com and The Bourbon Review. The author of two books, “Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke,” and the “Home Distiller’s Guide to Spirits,” he also serves as a ghostwriter for multiple clients.

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