Bardstown Road buildings before renovation
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Renovation projects nears completion on Bardstown Road
Renovation projects nears completion on Bardstown Road. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)

Two new retail spaces and three apartments will soon be ready on Bardstown Road. Business partners Mike Howard and Joseph Impellizzeri have nearly finished converting two dilapidated structures near Eastern Parkway after realizing the potential of vacant property in the heart of the Highlands. One tenant has already signed on and will be opening soon.

Bardstown Road buildings before renovation
Bardstown Road buildings before renovation. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)

PizzAroma, located in the green structure on the right, has a long history in the pizza business. First opening in 1963 as the first pizza place in Owensboro, the family operated business has expanded. As the pizza pub grew, PizzAroma opened locations in Bowling Green and Hilton Head. In that time, Pizza Today magazine listed PizzAroma as one of the top 100 independent pizzerias in the nation.

Now, lifelong friends Blake Leucht and Jan Miller, both of Owensboro, hope to bring that tradition to Bardstown Road in the first weeks of September. PizzAroma will offer pizza-by-the-slice in addition to full pies, pasta, sandwiches, and wings. Leucht explains that all ingredients used at PizzAroma are as fresh as possible, including gourmet cheeses and custom-made sausage. The new eatery will offer a full bar open until 4:00 am and features an outdoor seating area and occasional live acoustic music.

Adjacent space directly north of PizzAroma hasn’t been leased yet, but Howard and Impellizzeri expect the space to be taken by a food operator. The team has been in negotiations with a sandwich shop as well as several other businesses, but nothing is yet official. As soon as next week, a new red-tinted concrete plaza will be poured in front of the building to serve as an outdoor seating area.

Three new one-bedroom apartments are also nearing completion. Besides being just a step off Louisville’s most lively intersection, the apartments will offer great views of the surrounding Highlands including St. James Church. Prices haven’t been officially set, but Mike Howard expects them to range somewhere from the upper $500s to upper $600s per month.

Mike Howard and Joe Impellizzeri have been friends for over a decade, but this venture represents their first steps into commercial development. Impellizzeri is a local attorney and Howard operates Rent 2 Own Louisville, offering lease options on single family homes predominantly in the Highlands and St. Matthews.

Howard and Impellizzeri expect an increase in people moving into the city. They say walkable neighborhoods with shopping and entertainment nearby coupled with increasing fuel costs will only steer more people into areas like the Bardstown Road corridor. The team also expects property values to continue to climb in the next five to ten years in an already booming area. Howard explains that the popularity of the Highlands is already spilling over into adjacent neighborhoods like Germantown.

The two plan to continue renovating structures along the Bardstown Road-Baxter Avenue corridor in the future and are currently looking at several properties in the area. They agree that Louisville’s hippest street only stands to grow stronger over time and both want to be part of that progress.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Nice story. I’m glad to see the Highlands getting new businesses. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but sandwich only has 1 “h” in it.

  2. Thanks for calling out the typo, Betty. You’d be amazed at how often the word sandwich appears in these articles. That’s what I get for typing too fast and forgetting to press the spell check! Needless to say, the error is fixed now.

  3. “The new eatery will offer a full bar open until 4:00 am and features an outdoor seating area and occasional live acoustic music.”

    How will this affect the quality of life of those residents nearby?

  4. I am guessing it shouldn’t be too bad. Just because a bar is open late doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a nuisance. The pizzeria owners were very adamant that only occasional “acoustic” music be played inside so as to not be too noisy. The three apartments are in the other building as well, so they shouldn’t be affected either.

  5. I am from Owensboro, now living in Spencer County. I go to Owensboro and always get an uncooked Pizza to bring back with me, they are the best. I have talked to them for years about coming to Louisville, and finally they are. I could not be happier. Their pizza is the best. Great news for me.

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