Over at the Tribune's "New Albany Forum" the owner of Ninny's reveals that she's closing the restaurant at the end of the month. I must confess to having never eaten there.
The restaurant business is volatile. You may recall that when we were making the rounds of banks in the midst of last fall's bottoming (out), the standard greeting was "no start-ups funded -- especially restaurants." It took a while to find an institution of higher lending that would actually read the business plan to learn that our primary motivation was brewing beer for distribution. When it became apparent that Main Source would be the partner for us, I cried. Literally.
Yesterday I spent an hour and a half at the Bank Street construction site with Grace Schneider, the Courier-Journal's reporter who now provides at least some of the coverage for Floyd County since Dick Kaukas opted for the newspaper's broom and dustpan retirement plan. We chatted at length about the brewhouse project, and then I moved in the direction of the Farmers Market with a mind toward a bison wrap and Andy's and Joy's portable kitchen.
Before sinking my teeth into the succulence, there came the opportunity to step inside the space that Toast on Market will someday occupy. Currently it is undergoing renovation, and is coming along nicely, even if there's no firm date for the eatery's arrival.
My point, if any, is that entrepreneurs of any variety bizarrely enjoy spinning the wheel of fate and cash, but the house always has the best odds. For me, the best way to jig the process is to be relentlessly contrarian, and to offer a product like no one else's.
The same should hold true for downtown as a whole. If we can hold things together downtown for a year or so, I see good things coming from the effort.