You have to understand how hard this is for me.
I kept it to myself until the news came from Dave Clancy himself, and here it is, as posted on the Louisville Hot Bytes restaurant forum:
It is with a heavy heart that I have chosen to shut the doors of my labor of love. Due to circumstances beyond my control (mostly financial), my restaurant is closed as of 10/16/07. This was not an easy choice for me as I was so close to success that it is going to break my heart to see it end like this. I have run this place alone for well over a year and it has truly ruined me in every sense and, given the choice, I would do it all over again (only next time, I'll have a little more cash!). Thank you all for your support over the course of the last few years and wish me luck as I try to sort out a dead business and find some new direction to travel. If anyone is looking for an old washed up Chef, let me know!-Dave
It's remarkably easy for people who can do no better than "start up" the occasional rag picker's business or do contracting work without permits to understand how difficult a genuine paradigm shift is to achieve. All of downtown New Albany currently is engaged in that paradign shift, and it's a work in progress that unfortunately will have its ups and downs. Bistro New Albany's demise is a downer, but within it are seeds of positive developments.
What I know is this: Dave Clancy chose to stick it out as a pioneer in a place where the naysayers said it couldn't be done; what's more, he chose to stick it out when he wasn't ever supposed to be the sole owner of the business (recall that the original investor dropped out, and that former partner Dave Himmel moved on to his own business), and not once did he curse his bad fortune. Rather, he saw the potential and put his scant resources on the table.
He lost the bet. Dave might not be the best poker player, but he has considerable balls, and he'll always be a hero to me.
Meanwhile, don't expect the BNA space to be vacant for long. The Green Mouse says that wheels are spinning as we mourn, and that while a replacement for the undercapitalized Bistro New Albany probably won't be remotely of the same genre, ground indeed was broken, and there are too many good things about the BNA experience for savvy operators to ignore.
Perhaps another downtown eatery in need of a boost might be in need of a chef ...