Cunningham's owner says restaurant to return with 'new look' - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Cunningham's owner says restaurant to return with 'new look'

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Cunningham's restaurant sits empty and dark after closing abruptly on Sunday, Jan. 4 2014. Cunningham's restaurant sits empty and dark after closing abruptly on Sunday, Jan. 4 2014.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Cunningham's restaurant closed its doors suddenly over the weekend, but the popular restaurant that has been in Louisville for decades is not gone for good.

Cunningham's is bare and quiet inside now, except for the customers who keep calling. 

"Business has been okay, business has been okay. But again, we think with the changing dynamic it could be much better," said Brent George, spokesman for the restaurant.

The restaurant has been a fixture in Louisville since the 1920's, but it closed Sunday night. Donald George bought the restaurant in 1981 and it has been in the family since then. The original location, a building that opened in 1870, caught fire in 2001. It reopened in 2003 on South Fourth Street.

Sunday's closure came as a shock to the roughly 35 employees working there. 

"We wanted to get through Christmas and New Years and not have that burden on our employees," said George.

South Fourth Street is budding and the owners say they feel Cunningham's needs to change.

"There are some major changes that are going on, just within recent months you've had the Mercury Ballroom open, Hilton Garden Inn, the latest announcement from Kindred where they're adding 500 jobs right down the street," said George. "We've been approached by some outside interest as well as ourselves to think in terms of, what do we do with this location? Whether we're going to remodel it, give it a fresh look, or add a concept or two."

George would not expand on what concepts are being considered, but he says the restaurant will reopen in about two to three months.

However, Cunningham's Creekside location on River Road is still open, and the owners say there are no changes are planned there.

You will still be able to get your favorite platters downtown when it reopens.

"Just basically a new, fresh look to us," George summed it up. "We're looking at the next 15-20 years at this location as opposed to the next six months. We want to have ourselves situated to take care of our customers in the future."

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