Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint still has plans to move into former Lynn's Paradise Cafe building
A vibrant Louisville landmark once famous for pajama parties and eclectic artwork now stands empty and overgrown.
A vibrant Louisville landmark once famous for pajama parties and eclectic artwork now stands empty and overgrown. Weeds and cracks in the pavement mar the once-busy Lynn’s Paradise Café parking lot. The sparkles are fading on the sign and the lights are off.
“People seem to remember it favorably and spoke well of it, but not since I've moved in,” said Evan Matthews, who lives nearby.
Matthews moved to Barrett Avenue on the edge of the Highlands and Germantown three years ago, but the party at Lynn's Paradise Cafe ended long before that.
“[It’s] dusty, overgrown, vacant,” Matthews said. “[There aren’t] many good words to describe it.”
Before the kitschy cafe closed in January of 2013, it was anything but dull. In the 22 years of business, Lynn's got national attention and was famous for New Year's Day pajama parties and ugly lamp contests.
“[It was] very eclectic and something to see in Louisville,” said Shanna Simpson, who owns a nearby business. “[It was] just a landmark.”
That landmark has become an eye-sore, and four years after it closed, neighbors say they want to see the block come back to life.
“I know the businesses nearby would also appreciate the foot traffic,” Matthews said.
“I moved in because I thought that someone was going to move there, and it was going to be open, and [it would bring] foot traffic," Simpson said. "Barret Avenue was going to be Barret Avenue again.”
First, a Greek restaurant was interested in moving in.
In November, Tennessee-based Martin’s Barbecue Joint announced it would take over the building. It's a fast-casual restaurant that already has a location in East Louisville.
“I hear about barbecue,” Matthews said. “That sounds nice, anything really.”
Martin's Bar-B-Que planned to open in the fall, but so far public records have not been filed for the site, nor have any construction permits, planning and zoning applications or even a liquor license.
“It’s pretty bad,” Matthews said. “It doesn't look like anyone has kept up with the landscape or trimmed the hedges. The parking lot is starting to grow things, as well.”
WDRB News reached out to Martin's, and the owners said it still has plans to move in but wouldn't give a specific timeline. They said they'd release more information on the project by the end of the month.
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