Last week, NA Confidential broke this long anticipated story:
Bistro New Albany to open for business later this month at 148 E. Market Street in downtown New Albany.
Despite predictable regulatory delays, BNA’s Greg Merz and David Clancy still hope to meet their deadline of opening by the end of January.
Specifically, required Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission and Floyd County Health Department inspections are yet to come, and while awaiting these, Greg is busily constructing a small four-stool bar and installing draft equipment, while Dave completely revamps the kitchen and readies the menu.
Daunting, indeed, to start from scratch; everything from phone service to supplier accounts, hiring servers and cooks and training them, and readying a marketing campaign must be completed by the time the doors open.
As a new era dawns for the restaurant space in a venerable building that has been the New Albany Inn for as long as any of us can remember, it’s interesting to consider aspects of its prior history, as reader Cannon Farms noted recently:
When Mayor C. Pralle Erni owned it, the place was well respected, and packed on Sundays after church. My entire family would go for Sunday lunch and sometimes the meeting rooms in the basement, nicknamed after famous steamships, were used for overflow from the "Crystal Swan Restaurant."
Mayor Erni passed out silver dollars to the “good” boys and girls.
There was a huge mirror with a swan engraved in it that hung behind the bar in the main dinning room.
I can walk home from that convenient location, and have (allowing parking for those who drive), and I have seen a peek at the new menu. MMMmmmgood.
On a less unplifting note, and somewhat ironically given the two local murder trials currently dominating the headlines, the New Albany Inn has been the scene of one murder (proprietor “Shorty” Gonder, late 1980’s?) as well as playing a peripheral role in New Albany’s sensational “trial of the (19th) century” in 1886.
Historian Ted Fulmore has devoted three “Our History in New Albany” blog entries to the latter story:
1 - Desperate Housewives - 1886 style
2 - Ira and Myra – the descent
3 - Ira vs. Myra - the end
It’s fascinating reading, and Ted is to be commended for providing these substantive glimpses of the city's past.
I’ll continue to provide updates as BNA’s debut gets closer.