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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Avalon restaurant closed around the same time the Kentucky Derby Museum filed a lawsuit claiming the owners were "cooking the books". Its closure led to a new opportunity for local business owners.
Avalon's location on Bardstown Road is prime real estate for many people in the restaurant businesses. Owners of an eatery in Clifton are taking their ideas to the Highlands.
Stepping into the Silver Dollar, you get a honky tonk vibe surrounded by southern history. The owners renovated the 1890's firehouse, now its a new hot spot in town.
Shawn Cantley is one managing partner. He says the restaurant has been a big success. "It's been great, is there some wood for me to knock on somewhere? It's been unbelievable, we've met all our expectations and then some."
The place is always packed, so Cantley and his two partners came up with a new idea. The implant from Southern California wants to bring his beaches to Bardstown Road.
Cantley says, "We're gonna make it feel like you're stepping off of Bardstown Road into a locals hangout in Hermosa Beach, California or something like that."
He's had his eye on Avalon Restaurant for years, and when it shut down months ago he jumped on the opportunity.
But Cantley says there is a lot of work to do, "You always have to make your space your own. The space is not set up the way we want it to be so we're gonna be doing a lot its going to be very different."
The owners want to completely reinvent the restaurant, giving it a whole new look adding Mexican flare. The new name will be El Camino, meaning the road.
They'll trade in their southern soul food, for Mexican street food. The Silver Dollar's executive chef has ties to Mexico, and is working on an authentic menu. Bartenders will start shaking some brand new drinks to complete the tiki theme.
Cantley says, "We'll be making drinks in carved out pineapples, coconuts, and big scorpion bowls with seven straws coming out. It will all be done the way we do it here very artisanally."
Cantley compares the two restaurants, saying, "The Silver Dollar is kind of the inland Southern California with the Bakersfield sound country music kind of arouse, El Camino is going to be beach California."
The Silver Dollar's brunch menu served on the weekends is a preview of what you can expect at El Camino.
The owners hope to open the new place by the end of November.