Three years after leaving the basement of the Starks Building at Fourth Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, the Colonnade Cafeteria has received a $40,000 forgivable loan from the city to relocate back to the building’s first floor.
Originally dating to 1913, the Colonnade Cafe was located in the Starks Building from 1926 until 2006 when a new owner asked the popular lunch-spot to vacate. Colonnade owners Chester and Kenneth Krill then moved to the fifth floor penthouse of the Louisville Antique Mall on Broadway, but were again dislocated when the mall closed earlier this year.
The first floor space at the Starks Building has had a hard time attracting a tenant since Rodes, a clothing company, moved to the suburbs several years ago. An upscale seafood restaurant, McCormick & Schmicks’ was once planned for the spot, and then the Cordish Companies planned an extension of 4th Street Live! to connect with the planned Center City project. Both fell through, leaving room for the Colonnade to move in.
In 2006, the Colonnade owners claimed that affordable leases in Downtown were difficult to find for a local breakfast and lunch restaurant, but as retail prices have fallen, such a local cafe can now afford one of the most prime retail spots in the city once thought to be reserved for high-end national chains.
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