New businesses opening in Louisville despite uncertain times

New clothing and home boutiques, an ice cream and sweets shop, and restaurants make-up ten new businesses hitting Norton Commons.
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 6:18 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - In this uncertain economic time, when so many businesses are closing their doors, some Louisvillians are ready to take a risk. Several business owners are taking this time to either expand or open stores for the first time during COVID-19.

Ten new businesses are planning to open by October in Norton Commons.

When asked if he was nervous opening a second restaurant during the pandemic, Chris McNulty, a co-Owner in Old School NY Pizza stated the obvious.

“We always are, just because of the unknowns,” he said.

Just before the pandemic struck the United States, McNulty’s Louisville business on Factory Lane expanded. He had added a bar to the space in an attempt to get more people in the door, but then the coronavirus shut it down completely.

During Kentucky’s re-opening phase, the pizza carry-out restaurant actually grew thanks to social media.

“We’ve had a lot more exposure,” McNulty said,” it’s frankly because of Louisville Take Out and some of these other websites that are promoting local businesses, so we identified and have more customers that found us.”

The second location of Old School NY Pizza takes over the old Johnny Brusco’s in Norton Commons. It’s already set up for cookies pizza, has an outdoor patio, and McNulty believes the neighborhood foot traffic is a perfect fit.

“The ability for people just to walk and pick up food or for that matter, for us to easily deliver within Norton Commons, it just makes a big difference,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about parking and those types of things that much.”

Kathy Abbott agrees. Her Louisville franchise of Studio Pilates International is one of the several new businesses to open in the neighborhood.

“Every day, I just want my clients to stay healthy and feel safe,” Abbott said, “and I want my instructors to stay healthy and stay safe because then we stay open.”

Abbott wouldn’t let the pandemic stop her dream. She’s keeping class sizes low to help customers feel comfortable.

“When I walked into the space with the 6 feet apart, headrest to headrest, it’s 7 feet [apart],” she explained. “It just looked and felt safe.”

Marilyn Osborn Patterson, the Norton Commons marketing director and legal counsel, said new clothing and home boutiques, an ice cream and sweets shop, and another restaurant make-up the ten new businesses hitting the neighborhood.

“It’s highly satisfying to see them do well,” Osborne Patterson said of the new businesses.

A yet to be announced restaurant will also open up in the former Verbena Restaurant that closed during the pandemic.

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