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Metro Newsroom

Neighborhood Businesses Receive City Loans

Friday March 2, 2007

A new organic foods restaurant for Butchertown. A hot dog eatery for downtown. A B.C. Roosters restaurant for Preston Highway. A chocolate and coffee shop for the Highlands.

These are some of the nine businesses that have been awarded low-interest and forgivable loans this month from Louisville Metro Government.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our Louisville economy. And when they thrive and expand, they bring needed services and shops to neighborhoods across the city,” Mayor Jerry Abramson said, “Metro government, through our various loan programs, is eager to help our local businesses, restaurants and shops thrive and grow.”

The projects approved by the Metropolitan Business Development Corporation at its February meeting are:

  • Lonnie’s Best Taste of Chicago, which has a store in St. Matthews and is expanding downtown. The hot dog and sandwich shop, operated by Lonnie and Diane Edwards, received a $30,000 loan to open at 423 W. Muhammad Ali Street, near Fourth Street Live.
  • Harvest Inc, which is opening its first restaurant at 1605 Story Avenue, in Butchertown. The restaurant, to be owned by Ivor Chodkowski and Peter Kuhl, will serve organic food produced on Chodkowskis’ farm and other local farms. Chodkowski has been an organic farmer since 1997 and is best known for selling his products and breakfast food at the Bardstown Road Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. Chodkowski and Kuhl are receiving a five-year $50,000 forgivable loan.
  • B.C. Roosters restaurant, which is receiving a $100,000 loan to open at 7405 Preston Highway in the former Ryan’s Steakhouse property. B.C. Roosters is a hot wings franchise restaurant based in Columbus, Ohio. The local owners are Robert Gauthier and Chad Givens and operating as RC Landlords LLC. This is the first B.C Roosters in Louisville.
  • Coco’s Chocolate Café, a coffee and dessert shop, which is opening at 1763 Bardstown Road. The owners, Fred and Elaine Moore, are modeling their store on a similar business they opened in Chicago. Fred studied chocolate making in Tuscany, Italy for six months. The couple is receiving a $20,000 loan.
  • Hatem and Christine Gabr, who are renovating a commercial building at 1801 W. Market Street. They are planning to lease the property as a day care facility. The city is providing a $33,900 façade loan for the installation of a new storefront, fencing and painting, among other things.
  • Vintage Printing, which has received a $39,000 façade loan to improve its building at 650 Myrtle Street. The company will add new windows, doors and make sign and landscaping improvement. Total cost of the renovations is $489,000.
  • West Jefferson Development will receive a $45,000 loan to improve a building at 1400 W. Jefferson Street owned by Tony Young. Young purchased this building in January and will move his insurance business into the space. The building will also house an attorney and warehouse space. The façade loan will add windows, signs and landscaping to improve the property. Total cost of the project is $720,000.
  • Green Automotive, opening at 2105 Dixie Highway. The used auto lot, to open on the site of the former Perkins Motors automotive dealership, is owned by James Green, Robert McAlmont and Olatungi Otywajuyemi. The dealership is receiving a $100,000 loan.
  • Great Northern Manufacturing, located at 901 S. 15th Street. The company supplies aluminum and stainless steel nails. Great Northern moved to Louisville in 2001 and, in January, relocated from the suburbs to the Park Hill industrial corridor. The company is receiving a $50,000 loan for its relocation.

Metro government provides a variety of programs to held business, including façade improvement loans, forgivable loans for retail stores. For more information – or to apply for one the programs – visit or call MetroCall at 311.