LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Another St. Matthews business is saying goodbye. Thursday, the beloved mom and pop grocery Doll's Market on Brownsboro Road announced it was closing. It's just the latest in a string of closures in the area, but business leaders are quick to point out there are also plenty of new arrivals.
"You know an icon like Doll's is especially a tough one to take," said Indian Hills Mayor Tom Eifler of the grocery closure. In an email Thursday morning, Doll's Market sent customers news of a 30% off sale. A few hours later, the longtime grocery staple announced it was closing. It was a big surprise after more than 50 years in business.
"We're certainly saddened because they were a good neighbor and they serviced the people of Indian Hills for many years," Eifler said.
John Doll, Doll's president, issued a statement saying the down economy, big box store competition and the closing years ago of the popular Azalea restaurant next door led to the failure of his store.
Doll's joins quite a list of closures in St. Matthews. The Shelbyville Road Plaza has many vacancies. The Circuit City location has been empty for more than a year and the huge Borders bookstore announced it is closing.
Ironically, the bad business news came on the same day as the St. Matthews Business Expo. But Sherry Mulkins, executive director of the St. Matthews Area Business Association (SMABA) says new restaurants like Drake's and Chuy's are thriving with customers out the door. Mulkins also said more new merchants are moving into Shelbyville Road Plaza.
"BW3's (Buffalo Wild Wings) is in there now, Jason's Deli is doing great and Puccini's is doing wonderful," said Mulkins.
Trader Joe's will also soon call St. Matthews home at Shelbyville Road Plaza. Jewelry business owner Anne Slawinski has no fear. She's investing in an expansion.
"There's something special about St. Matthews," Slawinski said, "The people and the community you know, St. Matthews will be fine for many, many more years."
Leaders in St. Matthews are staying positive, but when it comes to business worries nationwide a U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey finds economic uncertainty as the top obstacle in hiring new employees, followed by a lack of sales and too much government regulation.