Old Louisville Tavern re-opens nearly two years after large fire
It took the owners nearly two years to bring The Tavern back to life. They see Wednesday's re-opening as a major celebration for the entire neighborhood.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It took the owners nearly two years to bring the Old Louisville Tavern back to life. They see this weekend's re-opening as a major celebration for the entire neighborhood.
“It's exciting, but it is a rush. A little bit of stress, little bit of butterflies and now we're really hitting the finishing touches of everything,” said Scott Lukemire, co-owner of The Tavern.
The team was pumped and ready to re-open Wednesday morning, a much different scene compared to that of July 22, 2014 when fire crews were battling flames, trying to salvage the popular business.
“When I got there it was just a tragic sight,” Lukemire said.
According to fire officials, 51-year-old Lavance Wilson set multiple fires that day, including one near The Tavern. The flames caused major damage to the building, leaving a firefighter with serious injuries. Wilson pleaded guilty to arson charges and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
“I wish you could step in someone's head sometime and see what was going on and why it happened,” said Lukemire. “We just focus on moving forward and not looking at the negatives.”
The owners' employees are also excited to move forward and get re-acquainted with their second home.
“That's my boy, he needed my help. He told me to set up his kitchen and I'm here for him,” said Dewone Wilson, a cook at The Tavern. “I’m happy because our team is back together.”
Customers will notice a brand new look and menu when they step into The Tavern, but the owner is confident people will like the new changes. He wants to fill the void for Old Louisville residents and re-introduce them to the long-standing business that’s been around since 1933.
“It's way better than before. Better inside, beautiful restaurant, beautiful bar and a beautiful menu,” said Lukemire.
The Tavern, located at 1532 S. 4th Street, is now open to the public. The grand re-opening is on Friday.
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