LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The owners of Goodfellas Pizzeria decided to back out of a business deal to create a future location at Broadway and Baxter.
The business is not the only one saying good bye to the Highlands.
Chase Bank is also closing a branch at the intersection of Highland and Baxter Avenues.
The news comes after several businesses closed shop on the Bardstown Road/Baxter Avenue corridor. Multiple restaurants and a dog day care have all closed in the past few months.
“The city sometimes takes the Highlands for granted,” Councilman Brandon Coan (D-District 8) said. “It’s one of the best assets we have, but if we don’t take care of it, it will become a liability."
Coan said as the city grows outward, neighborhoods closer to the center lose. He believes high speeds and heavy traffic make the business corridor feel like a highway.
“When you have a road that is built for cars to move through as fast as they can, you get fast food restaurants, gas stations and auto service shops,” Coan said.
Coan was excited for a business like Goodfellas Pizzeria adding a new vibe to the former gas station at Baxter and Broadway.
“We were really excited,” Alex Coats, Goodfellas Co-owner, said. “We thought we hit a home run with the location. We felt we would mesh well with the Highlands. We wanted to make the property really special.”
Coats said zoning changes to make the pizza shop and beer garden possible weren’t happening fast enough and the landowner began demanding payment.
"We can normally turn around our construction docs in six to eight weeks and get approved in a month or two tops,” Coats said.
While timing led to Goodfellas backing out of the project, Chase Bank said different business needs led them to close. Whatever the reason for leaving, Coan is thinking of ways to bring long term investments back.
“I think that if you can bring it back to the kind of place that people want to stroll and want to be outside and enjoy the streetscape then that’s really good for business," Coan said. "More people come to enjoy that.”
Coats said he and the other Goodfellas’ owners are not completely closing the door on Louisville. Coan welcomes the business partners to reconsider, since many in the neighborhood were looking forward to the development.