By TAYLOR DURDEN | WAVE 3 News
After years of construction, Colonial Gardens in South Louisville will officially open for business in August.
El Taco Luchador announced it will open its fifth location at Colonial Gardens on Aug. 21. Union 15 Pizza also will open in a few weeks.
The property sits right across the street from Iroquois Park. It sat vacant for years until the city purchased it in 2013. Underhill Associates stepped up to take on the project, with the vision to keep the history of the property alive.
Developer Jeff Underhill said there is a lot of history at the property, dating back to 1905.
“It had many different uses over the years, but it was always a place for neighbors to congregate, for the community as a whole to congregate,” Underhill said.
He explained it was the site of Louisville’s first zoo. It also was a beer garden and nightclub. Elvis Presley even performed there.
Underhill Associates is showcasing the rich history throughout the property—bringing in a life-size Elvis statue, adding concrete zoo animals in the landscaping and building a trolley replica. There are also bricks in the middle of the beer garden, some of which are engraved by neighbors and people throughout the community. They plan to add murals that showcase Louisville’s history. There will also be a space for acoustic music.
“I think this corner represents a point of pride for so many people out here,” Underhill said. “This represents opportunity of redevelopment for this area that’s been patiently waiting for a long time.”
The $6.2 million project is near completion. While Taco Luchador and Union 15 will open near the end of August, Underhill said they are still finalizing the other two restaurants that will be at Colonial Gardens, and construction on those spaces will continue for a few more months.