Longshot Tavern on Frankfort Avenue. (Broken Sidewalk)
Longshot Tavern on Frankfort Avenue. (Broken Sidewalk)
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[ 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.

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Branden Klayko

29 COMMENTS

  1. This reminds me of when that Sweet CiCi’s opened right across Bardstown Road from Ce Fiore, except both those are national chains and both these businesses are local. You kind of hate to see Pie and Comfy square off like this, but hopefully both survive and thrive in spite of being within cone-throwing distance.

  2. Hopefully they will get along and play nicely. Just speaking for myself, I consider them to be two different types of shops. I pretty much never go to HPK for ice cream. The pies and cakes are great; the ice cream is average at best. Comfy Cow on the other hand, has awesome ice cream. Just my opinion, of course. I do find it odd that HPK would open up in that spot when they have a shop at the Vogue center, which is super close. Here is hoping it all works out for the best.

  3. WOW… very interesting if it turns out to be true. If you forget Comfy Cow for a second, where is the next logical place for HPK to open? Clifton. I’m surprised they haven’t already. Clifton has become and is still becoming the place for local, trendy restaurants to open, and HPK wants to be part of it. Funny how it comes just as Comfy Cow is under construction. Not sure how I feel about that. But I agree with Robin that they cater to different audiences. Personally, I don’t go to HPK for ice cream; I go for pie. If this happens, it will be very interesting to see how it turns out. It would break my heart, as a Clifton resident, to see one of them go under, though.

  4. @Ben – I forgot to mention Sweet Surrender just a few blocks down. This will certainly have an effect on its business (Comfy Cow alone will have an effect).

  5. This great for Clifton if it happens! Bringing multiple companies to one area is a good thing. Look up the street at ElMundo and Sol Aztecas. You even have Volare and Varanese. The Pie Kitchen is a fabulous bakery with ice cream, the one in the Highlands even has a small sandwich shop like. I’d love the variety, as they say variety is the spice of life!

  6. I hope this is true! More businesses for Clifton is a good thing. Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen will be a great addition to this neighborhood if this article is true. My family loves going to the Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen stores, the variety of desserts is great. With both of these businesses, I think this is a win, win for Clifton!

  7. To have the Longshot building fixed up would be a big plus! I hope they do move there. They make an awesome chess pie.
    Think if they kept the bar, liquor ice cream drinks!!!

  8. “for the sole purpose of killing Comfy Cow”… Come on the Pie Kitchen is more a bakery and been around for as long as I can remember. Clifton is a desirable area. Via an agent I know for a fact that Homemade has been looking on Frankfort Ave long before Comfy Cow. They looked at the spot where Shiraz is before Shiraz and the white building on the corner across from Grape Leaf long before Genny’s sold. I hope they do rehab the building and open. This will add to Clifton, two new businesses.

  9. I agree with the board that having both the Comfy Cow and the Pie Kitchen would be a real boon for Clifton. In such a walkable area, the more options the better. If the Pie Kitchen does end up at this site, it would also be nice to see the corner building with a fresh coat of paint. Imagine some new gingerbread molding on that front facade and perhaps a community mural on the side where the old billboard is? Excellent idea on the bar idea, Mel.

  10. The most brazen & adventurous customers could buy their fave pie at Pie Kitchen, then scoot across the street for their fave Comfy topping!

  11. Checked Facebook for both companies to see if true. After reading “some” of the Comfy fans responses I was disappointed. Here both companies are doing something good and some of the Comfy customers are showing a lack of class. We should support both. Be appreciative!!

  12. Thinking back to when I heard there was a new pizza joint opening a few doors down from Wick’s & a couple blocks from Spinelli’s :). I don’t care what happens in Clifton; I’m just waiting for my Papalino’s and Comfy Cow to open here in ridiculously underserved Old Louisville.

  13. I am excited to see what the PK can do with the Longshot building. As a Clifton homeowner (with a family) I welcome any neighborhood establishment over a bar. PK has been in Louisville for over 25 years (1982 according to their website) and they have always been good to the community. In addition, Liza makes a good point, check out CC on FB, they are ruthless, both businesses are local and have been good to the community, ironically, PK didn’t have any negative comments about CC. Hopefully both companies will learn to play nice for the benefit of my family and the rest of the families in Clifton.

  14. Two similar businesses near each other will actually increase the business of both places. This was Wendy’s model of restaurant placement in their early years (i.e. put it directly across the street from McDonald’s). It’s why the pizza joints can be clustered and very successful. Anyone who thinks this will kill Comfy Cow’s business or that there was even an intent to do that in the first place is being silly. Clifton will simply be an even better place for this.

  15. Please HPK cannot compete against Comfy Cow! The flavors of the CC are far more on par to a true gorumet taste. I never want to see a local business hurt so all I can say is I wish the HPK a great deal of luck !The Koons -McGee family know I am a life longer and I have been as of day one. So to the CC all I will say is MOOOO on!!

  16. “As a Clifton homeowner (with a family) I welcome any neighborhood establishment over a bar.”

    Sure, so instead of walking to a local watering hole all the Clifton and Crescent Hill residents can DRIVE back to the neighborhood. I’m very pro-drinking but anti drinking and driving. I’ve spotted an awful lot of my neighbors driving home after a night of drinking at the cooler bars in other parts of town. The late-night Clifton/Crescent Hill leaves a lot to be desired.

  17. I’d rather have the dive bar and some live music in the neighborhood. Not everyone is raising a family in clifton :/

  18. I read the replies plus the ones on Comfy Cows Facebook, Homemade didn’t have any that I could find on their Facebook. All I can say is that many of the Comfy Cow Facebook customer replies took this down to a level I would have hoped better for. I’m disappointed the owners at Comfy Cow sat silent to those posts, as silence is confirmation, in my opinion. At the very least they could have been removed from their Facebook. Clifton deserves two good companies, not people picking sides and verbally demeaning one before they open. I look forward to both, their efforts and financial commitments to our community. Let’s stop the negative in our own community, we deserve better. Best to you both, can’t wait for the openings.

  19. I have some doubt as to whether this area can support both of these fantastic local businesses. The marketplace will decide the winner but it would have been nice if HPK would have chosen an area of town that is not served by another local ice cream purveyor. No doubt these companies are skilled in selecting locations that have the right balance of neighborhood support, passing commuters and destination shoppers/diners. The imminent opening of the Silver Dollar saloon (I think that’s what it’s called) should serve the Clifton neighborhood’s live music/bar crowd well. Despite the ongoing renovation of the Quest Outdoors Clifton location, the recent expansion to the Shelbyville Rd Plaza is worrisome. This trend of Louisville businesses selecting locations that cannibalize existing business is worrisome. However, the strong concentration of income, shopping destinations and population on the east side leads to this socially, environmental and economically unhealthy reality. A political establishment that favors the interests of east Louisville over the other areas of town exacerbates this problem.

  20. The opening of 2 similar urban retail businesses so close highlights the need to push for other streets to be converted to 2-way traffic.

  21. interesting to note, too, that a *3rd* frozen dessert place is coming to the intersection of eastern pkwy and bardstown, adding to ce fiore and cici’s.

  22. Stunoland, can you elaborate on your comment? I’m not seeing the connection between these places and 2-way traffic, especially since AFAIK there aren’t any one-way streets in the neighborhood.

  23. I keep reading all these comments about how great this is and “why has it taken so long for a Pie Kitchen to come to Frankfort Avenue”. Well it seems to me that the reason is because….There is already a Pie Kitchen literally two miles way from the Longshot’s location in the Vogue Shopping Center (Seriously, Google it!) Why would they open one SOOO close, It makes NO sense. So not only is this new Pie Kitchen store going to be competing with the Cow, but it will also be competing with another location of the same company. It’s never a good idea to flood a market like that. I’ve been waiting for a long time for someone to come along and make something great out of that Fern laden mess, but to find out that yet another Pie Kitchen is moving in is so disappointing.

  24. As a long time resident of Crescent Hill I can say it’s about dang time. Most people probably don’t recall there was an ice cream shop where Margaret’s Consignment Shop is now years ago. Wobbe’s Pharmacy also had a small soda fountain at one time, it is now the laundry mat.

    As for the closeness to the vogue location, I don’t see it having any impact at all. I’m not going to walk to walk to the Vogue. The density of these neighborhoods makes it perfect for walking to get ice cream or pie, whatever you prefer. I also avoid the Vogue Pie Kitchen because there are so many little kids, no offense. This should be great for the n’hood.

  25. I just wish some of these folks would actually consider OTHER parts of town where they could operate without competition at all. The Frankfort-Shelbyville corridor has, for example, multiple Walgreen’s – I have to drive all the way to Indiana to get to one. I doubt either one of these places will get my business – at any of their locations, because they choose to ignore a whole another part of the community completely.

  26. @Jeff, I was thinking about other neighborhoods that have traffic patterns that value the needs of passing commuters over the quality of life for the residents. There are a few streets around town whose retail potential is hampered by unnecessarily being a 1-way street. Preston comes to mind but I’m sure there are many others. And yes, I do know that there are many other factors that make Clifton such a viable area for retail businesses. However, how we plan our neighborhoods does play an important role in determining the quality of life and economic opportunities throughout the city.

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