Community Economy

A new barbecue restaurant is expected to open Tuesday in the same building that housed Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, a popular Louisville restaurant on Barret Avenue.

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, a Tennessee-based food chain, bought the space from Lynn Winter for an undisclosed amount in 2016. Winter had owned and managed Lynn’s Paradise Cafe since 1991 but abruptly closed the store after publicized staff complaints and questions regarding staff policies.

Rick Howlett | wfpl.org

The former Lynn’s Paradise Cafe on Barret Avenue.

The Nitty Gritty owner Terri Burt said she opened her business on Barret Avenue because of the close proximity to Lynn’s. The Nitty Gritty, which opened in 2000, sells vintage clothing and rents costumes. Burt said customers waiting for seating or leaving the cafe often came into The Nitty Gritty. But she said Lynn’s closure in 2013 killed business for her and others.

Terri Burt, owner of The Nitty Gritty store,Kyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Terri Burt, owner of The Nitty Gritty store,

“The day that she closed, it was over. It just became a ghost town through here,” Burt said. “It was really hard. I watched all my neighbors either close or move away.”

Burt said only her business and the Artist & Craftsman Supply store survived the loss of the cafe.

Rosie Sesler is manager of Artist & Craftsman Supply. Sesler said the store moved to Barret Avenue nearly 10 years ago, in part, to capitalize on foot traffic from Lynn’s. She said the store survived thanks to its following.

Sesler said she’s looking forward to Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint opening and she’s hopeful it will revive foot traffic.

Artist & Craftsman Supply Store Manager Rosie SeslerKyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Artist & Craftsman Supply Store Manager Rosie Sesler

“I’m excited that we’re not going to have a big, empty building. Because I think anything there is better than that,” Sesler said. “When people start coming back to the neighborhood and they come, I’m hoping they’re going to be happy with what they see here.”

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint is expected to open Tuesday, August 21, at 984 Barret Avenue.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.