UofL student plans to co-own historic diner in the Highlands - WDRB 41 Louisville News

UofL student plans to co-own historic diner in the Highlands

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Since 1959, Twig and Leaf has been a staple in the Highlands. 

You can expect a packed house on the weekends.

"But on the weekdays it's kind of struggling right now," said Ferhan Ali.

Ali is a 22-year-old Physical Therapy student at U of L.

When he found out the owner of Twig and Leaf was ready to retire, Ali called his friend, a former Cardinal himself, and set up a meeting.

“He (the owner) said he was thinking about shutting it down, "Ali said. "And we thought it would be a great project for us with the community loving it so much,” Ali said.

Hoping to revive the historic business, Ali decided to get feedback from people in the neighborhood.

There was one complaint that kept coming up.

“The most concern they had was service -- better service," Ali explained. "Eventually as they slowed down, they couldn't afford all these people to work.  So it would get busy and people would complain. But we plan to get most of our customers back." 

He says one way to do that is to learn everything he can from the current owner.

Ali plans to renovate the interior design while keeping the old school flavor intact.

He says changes to the menu are also in order.

"Most people do like the food but we do plan on changing the food a little bit, tweaking the menu, adding a little bit of healthy options," Ali said.

It's a big job for a full time student, but he believes he'll have plenty of help along the way.

“That's why I have a partner, Gibin George, who has graduated with a Masters in business and he’s going to help out,” said Ali. “My family has also always been in business so I’ll learn some of the 1's and 2's from them."

Hoping to buy the place for $120,000 and hire eight new employees, he says for all intents and purposes, the place is theirs.

Twig and Leaf will briefly close on Sept. 28 for remodeling and will reopen on Oct. 2.

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