Whiskey Row restaurants rebounding as Main Street reopens follow - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Whiskey Row restaurants rebounding as Main Street reopens following fire

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Damage can be seen behind the Whiskey Row facades and the smell of smoke still lingers in the air.

“I'm almost without words,” said Jawana Morris as she saw the fire damage for the first time.  

Years of history are now just a pile of bricks.

“It's wow, its breathtaking ... it really is. I wasn't expecting that much damage,” Morris said.

Main Street reopened in time for the weekend after the building went up in flames Monday afternoon. Nearby restaurants that had to close down are now slowly getting back to normal.

“Hoping that people are going to be coming in and coming back,” Impellizzeri's Pizza Manager Wil Grubbs said.

But the pizza restaurant says there has been one saving grace in terms of keeping business up.

“Because of this convention going on at the Yum! Center, we've had a lot of reservations,” Grubbs said.

Thousands of people are in town for the Nazarene Youth Conference. The restaurant was rented out for two days in a row while the road was still closed to traffic.

“What we did was have people just come through the back door,” Grubbs said.

Now with cars back on the street, foot traffic has also increased. Some are even taking pictures of the ruble and destroyed cars.

Restaurant managers say business has in fact picked up a little because people want to get outside and see a glimpse of the damage.

With caution tape pulled back, Nicholas Netherton says when he rides his bike to work, the commute will now be easier and less frustrating.

“Previously I would have to go down wrong ways of streets and sidewalks and anger quite a few different people,” Netherton said.

But as he eats pizza and looks at the building that burned down, he's already thinking about what’s next.

“Hopefully something good can come out of it,” he said. “Otherwise, it’s just kind of an ugly mark on Main Street, Whiskey Row.”

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