Whiskey Row restaurants hopeful that Forecastle Festival will boost business
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A historic part of Louisville is expected to be preserved, even after a fire destroyed three of the buildings along Main Street.
Craig Greenberg, the co-developer of Main Street Revitalization, LLC announced Thursday that stabilization work is underway on the Whiskey Row facades and similar work on Washington Street is expected to follow.
Some nearby restaurant workers say this is good news for the area.
"I don't want it rushed because you go too quickly and someone can get hurt, killed, whatever. They've got to get it done right. I'd like them to save the facade, keep the row going. Little hiccups like this are fine. We'll come out of this even better,” said Kyle Schwan, the Executive Chef at O’Shea’s.
For days after the fire restaurants along Whiskey Row, like O'Shea's, were hit hard by the lack of customers.
"Slowly but surely we're starting to get more of our customers,” said Kyle Schwan.
With everything the downtown businesses have gone through, the hope is that the Forecastle Festival this weekend will mean a boost in business.
Setup is almost done for the music festival, which is expected to bring 60,000 people to the Waterfront for the weekend.
“We pride ourselves on being not only a festival that takes place in Louisville, but a festival that is part of Louisville,” said Holly Weyler McKnight with Forecastle Media Relations.
The festival is not only about the music. It also showcases the city.
"You'll notice the Kentucky Landing which is filled with local businesses and local beers. The bourbon lodge where all the area distilleries are set up,” said Holly Weyler McKnight.
When concert-goers leave the festival, restaurants along Whiskey Row are ready.
After taking a hit during the Whiskey Row fire, restaurant officials are hoping for a weekend boost in business to make up for the customers they lost.
“Any business needs to be prepared for the unexpected. We did our best and a lot of the guys did their best and we're really all ready to go on this row,” said Kyle Schwan.
As for the Whiskey Row project, developers say it could take at least several months to get it back on track.
A press release says the short-stabilization plan is focused on minimizing further damage to the facades and historic buildings. Craig Greenberg, Co-Developer of Main Street Revitalization, LLC says short-term stabilization will include temporary, primary exterior supports.
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