New additions, departures in downtown Louisville, Nulu restaurant scenes

By MIKE FUSSELL | WAVE 3 News

Without question, people in Louisville love to eat.

That’s caught the eye of entrepreneurs hoping to tap into the city’s culinary appetite, but in the very competitive industry, a long lifespan isn’t guaranteed.

The restaurant will serve its last dinner on May 18. (Source: Facebook)

Wild Rita’s announced this week it will only be open for about another week, but new restaurants are in the works nearby.

Down the road Friday, the Taste of Main Street is a party for the senses.

If the guitar playing at the event sounds good to your ears, just follow your nose and let your eyes behold the many dance partners your taste buds have to choose from.

“What people may not know is that we have this excellent foodie scene as well,” Robin Miller, Executive Director at the Main Street Association, said.

Twenty-one restaurants and spirits were represented at the Taste of Main Street, all meeting up at the Old 502 Winery. Restaurants ranged from White Castle to Morton’s.

Taste of Main Street
Nearly two dozen restaurants and spirits were represented at Taste of Louisville — from White Castle to Morton’s. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

“There are restaurants at every price point, every style of cuisine that you could be looking for,” Miller said. “If you’re coming out socially or if you’re coming out with colleagues that you have entertaining. Main Street has a lot to offer.”

In Nulu, other businesses are opening up, too.

The sign is now up at Biscuit Belly, a biscuit restaurant set to open on Main Street in Nulu at the end of the month.

Biscuit Belly
Biscuit Belly is set to open at the end of May. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

But, like a rush for gold, when those prospecting find value, competition begins.

“Downtown Louisville is a really tough part of the region to be in,” Levi Donaldson, an operating partner at Wild Rita’s, said. “It doesn’t mean we weren’t successful. We paid the bills. We made some money, we had a lot of fun while we were doing it.”

>> RELATED: Wild Rita’s closing in Nulu

Donaldson said that as the Market Street business prepares to close on May 18.

“Those are tough business questions,” Donaldson said. “It’s a really tough industry to be in right now.”

Donaldson said a five year lease was extended through Derby, but owners thought it was time to call it quits while they were still ahead and the term was up.

“We’re happy with how everything has ended,” Donaldson said.

Donaldson said Louisville is a very competitive place for restaurants, but that its especially hard for those serving tacos and Mexican food to stand out.

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