Qdobe Mexican Grill received a small business loan from the Louisville Metro Government Friday and will open a new location on the corner of Fourth Street and Jefferson Street. Donald Doyle and Michael Grisanti will open the franchise in the Marion E. Taylor Building with the help of a $50,000 forgivable loan that will cover plumbing and exhaust hoods that must reach to the top of the building.
The new eatery represents another win for Downtown’s ability to draw franchise restaurants, which should be viewed as a good thing. In the same vicinity are Panera Bread, Jimmy John’s, and Einstein’s Bagels along with a smattering of local restaurants from the quick-stop Chop Shop Salads to the formal Z’s Fusion. As business builds and draws more workers and residents, more local and franchise shops will eventually join up as well.
Site selection on the corner of the Marion E. Taylor building is particularly important. The sidewalk of the structure was previously occupied by bank offices that contribute little to the street; the new Qdoba adds an active use in a space that pedestrians would otherwise walk right by.
Notice the vintage view at the top from when the structure was known as the Paul Jones Building and featured a strong cornice at the roofline. You can see the lively retail all along the sidewalk. Hopefully the addition of the new restaurant will bring some of that sidewalk vibrancy back.
For more information on the Metropolitan Business Development Corporation who issued the loan, check their web site.