The floors crumbled, and only a few walls could be saved when the historic Whiskey Row buildings, which date back to the 1870s, went up in flames on Main Street two years ago.
It was a major setback for the developers, Main Street Revitalization, LLC, who were turning the part of the buildings into apartments, which are now available to lease.
The developers are also leasing two office spaces. One is filled by architect, Gresham, Smith and Partners, and the other is still available.
A German beer hall will soon move in and is scheduled to open in the winter or spring of next year, a speakeasy is expected to open at the end of this year and Old Forrester Distillery is coming in the spring.
“One of the things people have been asking now for over a decade is to have a wonderful shopping experience, for clothing and footwear, downtown,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher said.
On Wednesday and Thursday, clothing store Duluth Trading Company is becoming a part of that experience, celebrating its grand opening on Main Street
“It's exciting to be that first trailblazer for downtown and hopefully more retail to come,” store manager Ryan Pasbrig said.
It's a store for people who work or play outdoors, like construction workers, farmers or gardeners.
People who wear the clothing say it's practical and durable.
“It's great, obviously, for what we're doing the work end of stuff, but even when you go out canoeing or kayaking ... or even camping, it’s the perfect everyday work wear,” customer Samantha Hadley said.
“Our long tailed Tees are great,” Pasbrig said. “They're three extra inches longer to prevent plumbers butt. We say it's a gift, not just for the person wearing it, but for everybody.”
The opening celebration of the store this week is a step toward a bright future for the historic buildings with a devastating past.
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