[ Editor’s Note: This article has been updated after speaking with Pie Kitchen owner Adam Burckle and includes new information on renovation plans for the new bakery site. Also corrected an important typo in a quote after the jump. ]
Yesterday, we got quite a “scoop” delivered to our inbox as we learned that the Longshot Tavern at 2232 Frankfort Avenue on the corner of Rastetter Street was possibly set to become a Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen. While our tipster wondered how the bakery would fare located across the street from the under-construction Comfy Cow (even suggesting nefarious motives), Broken Sidewalk commenters were quick to point out that the news is pretty sweet for everyone involved (except as the tipster pointed out, the neighborhood is losing a long-time dive bar).
I spoke with Adam Burckle, owner of the Pie Kitchen and he agrees Clifton can use as much business as it can get. He confirmed plans to renovate the shotgun-style building dating to the 1880s and said the location is the result of a long, and sometimes arduous, search for a Clifton outpost lasting almost five years.
Burckle laid to rest the rumors of an ice-cream-feud (and some nasty comments on facebook). “I think it’s going to be a positive thing for Clifton,” he said. “I’m interested in putting bakeries back in neighborhoods. It’s not a war.” He pointed to several examples of related businesses thriving together, including Los Astecas and El Mundo farther down Frankfort Avenue and the plethora of Irish pubs on Baxter Avenue.
At least two other sites were considered before the Pie Kitchen chose the Longshot site. Burckle said he looked at an old garage across from Cafe Classico on Clifton Avenue and another space near the site of Shiraz. “Long before the Comfy Cow was even in business, we wanted to be in Clifton,” he said.
Architect Steve Wiser has been brought on board to design the new Pie Kitchen, which will bring back many historical elements of the original structure. Burckle pointed out his passion for preservation, including his work to restore the Louisville Derby Clock, likely set to land on Fourth Street. Renovation plans have already begun the review process, and call for a new red tin roof, a rebuilt and expanded side porch that matches the architecture, new historically appropriate windows on the front greenhouse space, and new soffits. “It’s going to go back to its 19th century heritage,” Burckle said. He hasn’t decided what to do with the billboard on the side of the building, but said one option is to remove it and install windows to brighten the interior.
So in the end, it looks like fears of an ice-cream standoff have melted away and the big winner is the Clifton neighborhood.