Sunday, December 27, 2009

Corner of Rowan and Bank

I don't know what this building at the corner of Rowan and Bank used to be, but it appears to have been business, not residential, at some remote time in the distant past.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wilder Electronics

This spot at 9420 Shelbyville Road, formerly a home-theatre installation company called Wilder Electronics, has been empty for awhile now.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rogers Jewelers

Okay, so it's not exactly a photo of a store, but I didn't feel like going into both Mall St. Matthews and Oxmoor Mall to take photos. So here's this guy standing out in the freezing cold holding the sign announcing the closure of both of these Rogers Jewelers locations.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pig City BBQ

Not sure when it happened, but Pig City BBQ seems to have gone away. They haven't been open in awhile, their website is down, and there's a huge angry unremovable sticker from the Coca-Cola Company rudely slapped on the glass, wanting their drink machines back.

It's a shame, because this was a great place right down the road from me that had a dee-lish variety of BBQ sauces at the tables (Though the brisket was so tasty, truly, no sauce was needed).

The furniture and fixtures seem to all still be there, though, so maybe they're just remarshaling their forces for a new barbecue attack....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Portland Bait and Tackle

I would have liked to have done some tradin' here back in Portland Bait & Tackle's heyday. I've never been to a fishing shop that also dealt in used tires.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Charlie's Used Furniture

Near the corner of 15th and Market.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Starlight Frozen Custard

Earlier this summer, Twysters Frozen Custard, owned by the same folks, went out of business, and now its sister store has given up the ghost as well.

(I hate to say "I told you so", but the owner really should have let me take a picture of his damn cone and feature him in my book, instead of running me off. Sad, I tell you.)

It's a shame, too, because they had great custard. I went for an extended year-long jag where I had one of their chocolate malteds every day. Somehow I managed to break the spell. I think discovering the joys of Starbucks Mocha Frappucinos is what weaned me off the malts.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Main Street Ice & Cold Storage

One of downtown Louisville's most memorable old buildings, loaded with character. A year ago, Broken Sidewalk reported that the Arctic Building would soon be converted into affordable apartments.

A year later, no sign of any progress whatsoever, and the Ice House Lofts blog doesn't sound like "affordable apartments" to me - it's talking about loft condos starting at $189,500.

I think I'm in no hurry to see the Arctic Building and its lime green loading dock be modified. I like it just the way it is.

Friday, November 13, 2009

D & W Silks

Speaking as someone with a less than urgent need for silk flowers, I never patronized D&W Silks. But I always enjoyed driving by it and being triggered to burst into song with "D.W. Washburn" by the Monkees.

According to their website, their corporate office is at 3301 Dixie Highway.

Looks like quite a bit of stuff on this block is being demolished. I shudder to speculate on what's to come.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Boland-Maloney Lumber

Boland-Maloney Lumber has closed its Main Street location. You can still find them at 4010 Collins Lane, however.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sandman Pottery

A former Chevron gas station, Sandman Pottery did business here on Shelbyville Road for a short time, then departed this past summer.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Falls City Theatre Equipment Company

Last winter, I featured this old storefront's sign on the Unusual Kentucky blog but didn't delve into the building itself.

It's located at 429 S. 3rd Street in downtown Louisville, next door to Kentucky Typewriter in the abandoned Morrissey Building. Act fast if you want to see it - I suspect it's earmarked for destruction just like most other cool old buildings, and there's been some recent activity inside. Let's keep our fingers crossed that someone's actually about to rehabilitate this amazing structure.

When you look through the window, you can see the remains of what must have been spectacular old painted murals on the walls. And check out those marble-swirl columns.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Roth Realty

Roth Realty on Brownsboro Road in Clifton's lookin' mighty empty.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kentucky Typewriter

The Typewriter business was struggling by the 1980s, was clearly doomed by the 1990s, and nowadays no one uses them except stubborn cranks like Hunter S. Thompson and myself. That being the case, it's not a real shockeroo that Kentucky Typewriter (425 South 3rd Street) is no longer with us.

Friday, October 30, 2009

French Quarter Cajun Cuisine

French Quarter Cajun Cuisine was right next door to Zaps in the long-deserted Molee Building, which has been acquired by Blue Properties so maybe we'll see the same kind of rebirth here as with Mendel Hertz's resurrection of the Starks Building.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Zaps Gourmet Hot Dogs, 423 W Muhammad Ali, closed abruptly in 2006 and the place is still unrented today.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Arby's, Shelbyville Road

This used to be one of the last remaining Arby's restaurants to still retain its glorious old 1960's-style neon sign.

You'd think it would be enshrined as a national treasure, right? Wrong.

The place was torn down last year and a sign was put up stating that a Mini Cooper dealership is coming. But so far, the lot is still empty and ugly.

Meanwhile, a new, modernized Arby's was erected down the street. Whoop-de-doo.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Los Chubascos

This location at 10000 Linn Station Road was previously a Tumbleweeds.

Monday, October 26, 2009

415 E. Market St.

I don't know what was here last, but at some point I'm assuming it was Greene Furniture. Broken Sidewalk reported a year ago that this was about to become "The Bacon-Debrovy Lofts". So far, it looks like they haven't gotten very far on the project. (Not that I'm complaining)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Freshway Produce

At the corner of Watterson Trail and Bardstown Road, way out Fern Creek way. Before Freshway Produce, it had been an Amoco gas station.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blue and Gold House

This was, most recently, a campaign headquarters for Bruce Lunsford, and before that it was a store that dealt in unusual musical instruments from around the world. Today it sits empty and available, waiting to see who will inhabit it next. I hope its next tenant chooses to retain that wonderful blue-and-gold color scheme!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cafe Metro

Cafe Metro, at the corner of Bardstown Road and Duker Avenue, R.I.P.

I ate here only once - almost twenty years ago, on a lunch date with a girlfriend. In those days, I was even more of a strictly meat-and-potatoes man than I am now, there was nothing on the menu that even remotely interested me - it was all salads and quiches and casseroles and sauteed vegetable dishes. Even the few meat dishes on the menu were ruined for me by being saturated with weird gravies and sauces that didn't sound terribly appetizing.

I watched her eat some sort of spinach something-or-other, while I munched the table's bread and drank the complimentary water, putting on my best Arthur Dent placid smile and counting the minutes till I could get out of there and get to a good steak house or BBQ joint.

As my palate has greatly matured since then, I probably should've gone back to the Cafe Metro after moving to Louisville a few years back. But I never got around to it. There were just too many more interesting places nearby. Cafe Metro was extremely pricey, and if I wanted to spend $70 on a meal on Bardstown Road, there's always been someplace far better. Like Seviche or (sometimes) Palermo Viejo.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Club Cawthon

Regrettably, another of Louisville's old-school watering holes has dried up. Club Cawthon closed after the building was damaged by a fire last year, and now there's a notice on the front earmarking 818 S. Seventh Street for demolition.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Louisville Billiard

A vacant store in progress: Louisville Billiard is closing its doors and going out of business afte 31 years. According to the Courier-Journal:

Sales have slumped at the store, which sells pool tables, bar stools and other game-room items, for about three years, president Mike Nilsson said. He blames a decrease in new home construction, which prompts people to finish basements, and a tightening of consumer credit.

“Basically the entire billiard industry nationwide is in a severe downturn right now,” Nilsson said, adding that Louisville Billiard closed its other store in Lexington in August after 19 years.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chevron, 2501 Bardstown Road

Why do some Chevrons live and others die? Some are in remote places with little traffic yet they survive, while this one was at a highly populated fork in the road between Bardstown Road and Taylorsville Road.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Duke's Appliance Center

This building at 931 E. Main Street was most recently Duke's Appliance Center, and before that it was the Butcherblock Gallery and before that it was the Cinderblock Gallery, which I ran for almost a year, having taken it over from Katie Beach who took it over from Scott Scarboro. Before that, I think it was a dry cleaners at some point way back in the day.