Are too few completed downtown condos running all the new independent shops and restaurants out of business? That seems to be the case at the corner of Jackson Street and Market Street, just a block away from Slugger Field. We heard a couple weeks ago that the Market on Market, a boutique grocery that turned deli-cafe just to survive, will close up shop in a few months, but now the rumors are flying that its next-door-neighbor Primo, an upscale Italian restaurant, may be closing as well.
Market on Market opened in 2006 with hopes that new housing planned for the area around Slugger Field would create a new neighborhood. Poor sales, in part due to too few condo projects completed with potential customers living there, has now forced the Market to close.
A similar fate is less certain for Primo, but owner Bim Dietrich is apparently not ruling out closing up shop. Primo has also seen the residential development in the area crawl along at a snail’s pace, leaving one of downtown’s most active areas still not dense enough to support neighborhood eateries. Primo is open for now while the future of the neighborhood is playing itself out.
There has been good and bad news for the eastern edge of downtown west of Interstate 65. Jefferson Development Group is still planning twin 18-story office towers, the Fleur-de-Lis on Main is moving, the old Vermont-American factory still may become a retail destination, and despite a fall-out with research developer Wexford, the University of Louisville still hopes to move forward with its Nucleus Research Campus between Market Street and Jefferson Street. The Mercantile Lofts are open; so is Waterfront Park Place. The area still needs more density, however; especially of the residential sort if we are to see any semblance of a livable neighborhood emerge. All office and research space only fills the area with people for a small portion of the day.
- Market on Market (Official Site)
- Primo Restaurant (Official Site)
- Market on Market to close doors (Business First)
- Primo flirting with closure (C-J Dining Blog)