LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Highlands staple that closed its doors after serving the community for more than three decades is being revived by a local businessman and longtime customer.
It was the "end of an era" when Uptown Cafe on Bardstown Road closed in November amid the coronavirus pandemic, which brought restrictions that put the restaurant through a tough financial year.
But the restaurant is now getting a new life. Local businessman Tom Drexler, of Tom Drexler Plumbing, Air & Electric, just purchased the restaurant with his wife, Lisa.
"The last five or 10 years especially, this is by far my wife and I's, you know, favorite restaurant," Drexler said. "Pretty much once a week (we'd) come in and, you know, just enjoy it."
Uptown Cafe was a fixture in the Louisville food scene for more than 35 years. Kelley Ledford's mother, Nancy Shepherd, started the restaurant in 1985 with her husband, David. It was their second restaurant venture after opening Cafe Metro in 1980, which was right across the street from Uptown Cafe before it closed in 2009.
Kelley Ledford said she's grateful to see the restaurant taken over by people who care about it.
"I didn't see an end to this restaurant ever," Kelley Ledford said. "I mean, it was just what I had done for so long, and then when I saw that it was coming to an end, once again it made me really sad. And then when Tom and Lisa approached me about it, I was so grateful."
Some key employees will be returning to the restaurant, including the kitchen staff. The Drexlers say the food won't change, but the building will be expanded. They hope to open back up in April.
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