By Elizabeth Kramer

A new theater space with a restaurant will open next month in Louisville. The Bard’s Town will be at Bardstown Road and Speed Avenue. The name is a reference to William Shakespeare.

Doug Schutte is one of three partners in the venture.

“Our theater space will have a resident company,” he says, “but that’s only going to run about seven productions each year. So, we have some local groups that we’ve already been in contact with — from theater to poetry to music— and we want to open the doors and be a sort of community center as well.”

Schutte says he and his partners designed the space with contemporary theater in mind.

“Most of the new work of today is really challenging and puts everything out there in front of the audience and with the audience and so our space is really conducive to that,” he says. ‘It’ll be tables and chairs for 75 to 80 people, so you’ll be able to eat and drink. But it will really be a community feel.”

Schutte says he and his partners have already begun working to develop the season for the resident company.

“Our first season is going to be devoted to all new work by Kentucky playwrights and then, of course, by opening our doors to some of the community folks. And so I think we’ll fit in as sort of a hub as well as a springboard for new voices.”

Although the restaurant opens in July, theater groups aren’t scheduled to perform there until September.