Vacant space to be filled at 4th Street Live! - News, Weather & Sports

Vacant space to be filled at 4th Street Live!

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Work is underway to fill space that has been vacant for months at 4th Street Live!

The entertainment district's General Manager James Layson said construction of the new Tavern bar is going like gangbusters.

"When things go out, other things come in," said Louisville resident Jake Rice. Rice said he and his wife love coming down to 4th Street from the East End of town and were disappointed when Ri Ra Irish Pub closed. 

In September, Ri Ra employees said they were closing because the rent was too high. Former bartender Jeremy Mathley said, "We were profitable, but we still had to pay a lot more in rent than a lot of other places that are free standing and not in this kind of environment."

There were other closures too: The Pub, Mozzaria and the Improv Comedy Club.

Rice said, "We would go to the Improv and that closed, so that was kind of a thing to do on a Friday night."

Layson said the high rent excuse is just that. He said rent prices at 4th Street Live! aren't any higher than other entertainment districts around the country. Layson, who took over the job in December, had another announcement pleasing to folks like Jake Rice: Three new restaurants will take over the space occupied by the now closed pubs and the comedy club.

Layson also said construction is well underway for the huge new Tavern on 4th that will take up the vacant second floor over the Sports and Social Club. He said the changes are thanks to the city's $850,000 given to 4th Street Live! operator The Cordish Companies to rehab the space.

Layson also said the recently added big screen will bring big game nights and movie nights downtown.

"I love it, I love it," said 4th Street Visitor Donna Barnet. Barnet, who works at Miami University just north of Cincinnati, Ohio frequents Louisville on business trips.

She is a fan of 4th Street Live! and was worried, "My concern is I don't want to see any closed businesses and there's so much potential for this street." Layson couldn't agree more and said he's committed to a variety of food and entertainment on 4th Street Live! including local businesses.

Layson wouldn't say what the three restaurants were, but promises it will be worth the wait. He also said besides the free concerts, other headline ticketed concerts are also planned in the future.

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