ST. MATTHEWS, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Shelbyville Road Plaza a few years ago seemed to be on its way to becoming a ghost town with empty storefronts.
But once again it has become a big shopping destination.
The newest retail operation getting ready to open is Blaze Pizza. The company will open its first Kentucky store on Monday.
On Tuesday it will be giving away free pizzas, so expect a big crowd.
"It should be a very busy day, but a fun day, the whole purpose is to get people introduced to our concept," says Wayne Albritton, managing partner of the restaurant.
That concept includes an assembly line format where customers create their own pizzas from a variety of vegetables and cheeses. Then each pizza is oven fired and ready in a couple of minutes.
"We're in the quick casual segment where it is about choice, about making your own, it's about freshness, we really appeal to the millennials," says Albritton.
The investors in this franchise operation believe the Shelbyville Road Plaza is a great location.
Adds Albritton, "You have 60,000 cars going by this location, we are fronting Shelbyville Road so you have a lot of exposure."
The shopping complex has undergone a bit of a renaissance since the end of the Great Recession.
Well known brands like Trader Joe's, Nordstrom, and Nike have opened stores at the shopping plaza.
"It's something we've been working on for a number of years," says Tommy Edwards of the commercial real estate firm of Hagan Properties which owns the shopping center, "to re-energize the center to try to bring a lot of neat and cool new retailers to Louisville."
Locally owned Taste of Kentucky moved to the plaza from Mall St. Matthews last August.
"A lot of our former customers from the mall found us over here and almost everyone tells us they love it here, love it a lot, they get to park right out front," says Peggy Dickinson of Taste of Kentucky.
About 90 percent of the Shelbyville Road Plaza is occupied. The search continues for a business to fill the spot once occupied by Borders Books.
Meantime get ready for a big turnout for pizza on Monday and Tuesday.