Tavern reopens, Ciao replacing Baxter Station, Pie Kitchen leaves Frankfort

Old Louisville Tavern reopens! Remember that horrible fire at the Old Louisville Tavern nearly two years ago? Well it’s hard to see any scars from it in the pics tied to its reopening about two weeks ago. Figured we’d let you know this great watering hole is reopened. Check out the pics.

Ciao to Baxter Station spot: Business First reported that the weathered and withering Baxter Station location at 1201 Payne St. is being overhauled for a new Italian restaurant named Ciao. Projected opening is in July. The story says Luigi Gelsomini, owner of Luigi’s Pizzeria & Pasta in downtown Louisville, will be the sole operator of the business.

Gelsomini will face a tough time getting recognition for this off the beaten path location. During Baxter Station’s heyday, it was a bit of a destination location in a far less crowded restaurant market. As competition increased, it couldn’t keep pace for multiple reasons—road visibility surely being one of them.

Pie Kitchen leaving Clifton, heading to Dixie: When Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen announced it would shutter its 2232 Frankfort Ave. site and relocate to a unit on Dixie Highway, owner Adam Burckle noted that the space would be rented to an imported furniture company—and for at a premium. Burkle, the uber-successful founder of Adam Matthews Cheesecakes, regarded it as a good business move, but Robin Garr, owner of LousivilleHotBytes, called it proof Burckle made a bad call. Garr, who generally serves up more snark than actual restaurant news on the site, gave his own take on HICPK’s move, dubbing Burckle’s decision to open three years ago across from The Comfy Cow, not “the greatest idea.”

That yielded a rebuttal from Burckle, who accused Garr of “reveling in our closure.”

He’s not the first to call out Garr for his negativity, though that never seems to slow the stream of bile creeping from the keyboard of long-ago Louisville Times restaurant critic.

by steve coomes

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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