Kroger gives Bristol Bar & Grille the boot - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kroger gives Bristol Bar & Grille the boot

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Bristol Bar & Grille has been at its Prospect location for more than 10 years, but the owners say their lease is up, and a popular supermarket chain is kicking them out.

Despite experiencing its most profitable year since 2006, Kroger informed Bristol owners their lease would not be renewed, leaving employees like GiGi Smith devastated.

“We put a lot of our heart and soul in this place,” Smith said.  "Our regulars, we see sometimes two to three times a week. They’re family as well."

The 30-plus employees will have to be transferred to Bristol's four other locations, which include the Highlands, downtown Louisville, Jeffersonville and on N. Hurstbourne Parkway.

But loyal customers like Carolyn Russman and her girlfriends don’t want to leave

“The people here have made us their friends. Everybody here is so nice,” Russman said. “I don't think you want to hear on the air what I have to say to Kroger.  I’m very disappointed, and I don't know if they're going to be my favorite store anymore."

Bristol officials said they reached out to Kroger's leasing agent repeatedly, and the office was unresponsive up until last week. They believe it was "a predetermined strategy to remove the Bristol and go with another concept." 

A Kroger spokesperson issued the following statement:

“The current tenant’s lease is expiring this month and their offers for a new lease were simply too far below market rate. Another local restaurateur quickly expressed interest in this desirable location. Kroger’s leasing agents reached what they believe is the best long term decision for this space. We look forward to welcoming the new tenant soon. They will be an exciting addition to the center.”

Bristol Bar & Grille's last day in Prospect will be Sunday, May 29.

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