JQ Public House evokes comfort food at Waterfront JQ Public House is the name of the new “American comfort food” restaurant at Riverpark Place. The Waterfront Park eatery astride a marina on the Ohio River opens next March, the restaurant developer announced Wednesday. “JQ’s idea is Americana. I traveled a lot with my dad growing up and we always stopped at roadside diners. There would always be a case of homemade desserts, fried chicken and meatloaf, all made from scratch in house,” said Brett Davis, partner in the Falls City Hospitality Group. “You will see things from all across the country that you used to find in those great American diners.” Falls City is also developing Doc’s Cantina, the Tex Mex-inspired restaurant opening by December in the former Tumbleweed downriver at Waterfront Park. Story continues below the photo. JQ Public House is coming to Riverpark Place on the Ohio River waterfront in early 2015. The mid-century modern restaurant will offer high-end dining fare. (Photo: Provided) There is nothing better to sip with elevated diner food than beer, Davis said, adding JQ Public House customers will be able to choose from 120 taps, including import brands, Louisville-brewed craft beer and Bud Lite. Liver and onions might be a Friday Blue Plate special, while signature fried chicken and burgers will be regulars on the lunch and dinner menus. Expect milk shakes, coconut cream pie and other diner dessert hallmarks, he added. Another throwback to mid-century will be plastic Melamine plates and coffee cups, Davis said. Where most new restaurant concepts aim for niche cuisine, Davis is aiming for broad appeal in the...
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The current location of RiverPark Place – historically known as “The Point” – has long been a prosperous area and home to many upper income socialites and successful entrepreneurs. Starting in the 1840s, well-heeled residents of New Orleans moved to Louisville for the summer to escape the Louisiana heat. These movers and shakers gathered at The Point on the Ohio River and built mansions, relaxing on their verandas and balconies to enjoy the cool river breezes. So many New Orleans residents built summer homes in Louisville that The Point’s Fulton Street became known as “Frenchmen’s Row” because of all the French-speaking residents that lived there. Today, RiverPark Place carries on that distinction of elegance, relaxation and luxury. Nestled amid trees and greenery along the peaceful water, the new EdgeWater luxury condominiums harken back to an earlier time of summer mansions, boating, sumptuous meals and prominent friendships – a time when residents kept an exclusive and lively social calendar. In the past, beautiful ladies in silk dresses strolled beside the river, fanning themselves with delicate lace fans. They carried parasols under the sun and watched river boats paddle through the crisp water. The Point was always a place to see and be seen, a chance to catch the eye of an influential new acquaintance. As ladies took in the sights and sounds of a stylish river life, well-bred gentlemen and entrepreneurs enjoyed cigars and afternoons on grand boats. Residing in homes at this fashionable and cultured location was the reward for financial success and business savvy. Today, the address represents similar accomplishments. One of the lovely old mansions, Padget House,... Continue Reading »
Home rentals are on the rise in Louisville, with the number of residents who choose to rent a home rather than buy one at a 10-year high. We explored that trend in a recent issue of At Home, a special publication dedicated to exploring where and how locals live. As part of that story, we also got access to three apartment complexes — the Meridian on Shelbyville, the WaterSide at RiverPark Place and the Veranda at Norton Commons — that prove that apartment living doesn’t have to mean scaling back. Check out the slideshow at right to see what we’re talking about. Source: A look inside upscale apartments in Louisville – Louisville – Louisville Business... Continue Reading »
Bringing a 40-acre, $1 billion-plus commercial/residential project to fruition that will alter the landscape and lifestyle of Louisville’s riverfront requires top talent. Rock stars of design and development, if you will. In the coming months, we’re going to feature the “Rock Stars of RiverPark Place” to help you get to know some of the brilliant and dedicated people behind the project. David Spillane spent his childhood near the water in Ireland. No matter where he has lived since then, he’s never been far from it. In fact, as president of Goody Clancy in Boston and principal for the firm’s planning and urban design practice, Spillane has built his career on a passion for design that transforms waterfronts. “We’ve worked a lot of places and done a lot of things, but the most exciting projects for me are waterfront projects,” he said. His firm has completed waterfront projects “all the way from Vermont to Texas.” This lifelong passion is why serving as lead architect for RiverPark Place is an ideal fit for his talents. It also means Louisville is incredibly lucky to have him on board. Fascinated by design since he was a child, Spillane earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from University College Dublin (Ireland) and a master’s degree from Harvard University. His work has included planning in Mississippi and New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, replacing an aging interstate highway in Hartford, Conn., and redefining Boston’s Fort Point Channel waterfront. His designs have been recognized with more than a dozen national awards from the American Institute of Architects, the American Planning Association, the Congress for the New Urbanism and... Continue Reading »
Bringing a 40-acre, $1 billion-plus commercial/residential project to fruition that will alter the landscape and lifestyle of Louisville’s riverfront requires top talent. Rock stars of design and development, if you will. In the coming months, we’re going to feature the “Rock Stars of RiverPark Place” to help you get to know some of the brilliant and dedicated people behind the project. Rob Chandler Now a celebrated architect, Rob Chandler initially chose his field by accident. In fact, it happened while getting his hands dirty. Chandler, principal with Goody Clancy in Boston and lead architect for the RiverPark Place condo towers, was pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Colby College in the late 1970s. The lack of jobs available to English majors prompted him to start a small construction firm. An architect with whom Chandler worked on home building in New England encouraged him to look into design as a career, so he did, earning a master’s in architecture from Harvard University. Today, Chandler provides design leadership across a wide spectrum of Goody Clancy’s academic, civic and residential projects. His work for colleges and universities includes the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, Rawls Hall at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University and the College of Informatics in Griffin Hall at Northern Kentucky University. His residential work features many award-winning housing developments in Massachusetts, notably the internationally acclaimed Tent City, with its 269 units of affordable housing in Boston. He also has designed all of the homes he has owned since college. Chandler said that academic and residential styles “reinforce each other, although they are very different in... Continue Reading »
Poe Companies has been hard at work during the 14 weeks of this series to make the RiverPark Place development a reality. With that in mind, it’s time for an update on all that has taken place: One of the biggest stories on the Louisville restaurant scene was the closure of riverfront Tumbleweed on Nov. 15. Falls City Hospitality Group, which plans to open a restaurant at RiverPark Place, also reportedly is close to a deal to operate a Mexican restaurant at the 12,000-square-foot riverfront site. That would give the group two restaurants within less than a half-mile. It operates Doc Crow’s on West Main Street and had La Coop, a French restaurant, on West Market Street, though it closed that operation on Jan. 1. Taking on the Tumbleweed site won’t affect plans for the RiverPark Place restaurant at all, according to investor and attorney Chip Hamm. “We had sort of settled on the RiverPark Place concept and menu before the Tumbleweed opportunity came up. We were already believers in the waterfront, so the Tumbleweed opportunity was an easy decision,” he said. The RiverPark Place restaurant will serve roadhouse type of food – buckets of seafood and burgers – sort of like the chain Yard House, Hamm said, along with about 120 beers on tap. Here’s the latest on the development overall from marketing director Nicki Sibley: Construction on the restaurant began during the last quarter of 2014; it’s expected to open in the third quarter of 2015. The first half of the new apartment building, Waterside East, is ready for occupancy and the first renters moved in last weekend. The second... Continue Reading »
Botanical gardens to enhance riverfront by RiverPark Place Children’s Garden, courtesy of Botanica and the Waterfront Botanical Gardens The master plan for the proposed Waterfront Botanical Gardens was unveiled in November to much excitement. While “everyone wants the gardens to be done by spring,” as board president Brian Voelker put it, there’s still much work to be done to make the vision a reality. Nevertheless, it promises to be yet another gem in the revitalization of Louisville’s waterfront. Plans call for a visitor’s center, children’s garden, a tropical conservatory, an elevated platform overlooking Beargrass Creek and an educational pavilion among the garden’s key features. The board behind the project – the group’s known as Botanica, originally composed from The Louisville Area Iris Society, The Louisville Area Daylily Society and Hostas of Kentuckiana – is busy preparing to launch its capital campaign. That means deciding exactly what will be part of each phase of the project and firming up the cost estimates, Voelker said. The board expects to spend two years raising the projected $10 million needed for the first phase, then two to three years building it, Voelker said. Three phases are planned, he said, though that might be compressed if there’s enough contributor support. The full project is expected to require around $35 million. It’s not the first effort to create a botanical garden in Louisville. Voelker said he knows of at least two previous projects that ran into trouble with acquiring land. The proposed property for this project, at the corner of River Road and Frankfort Avenue, was used as a dump for building refuse from damaged homes after the devastating... Continue Reading »
Developer Steve Poe tells the story that around the time he mothballed the RiverPark Place project in 2008, potential tenants had to have better credit to rent an apartment in Louisville than to buy a home. He decided it wasn’t the right time to add more apartments to the city’s inventory. Things have shifted more back toward buying since then, but it’s still a major decision whether to rent or buy. While the tax incentives and freedom to customize the property to suit your tastes – not to mention the idea that home ownership is basic to the American dream – add up on the plus side for buying, thousands of Americans found themselves unable to wrest themselves from their mortgages during the recent financial crisis. Ralph and Joan Ross, who now rent at RiverPark Place, took a beating on their Florida mortgage when he was offered the chance for promotion to district director for the Small Business Administration, involving a move to Louisville. Unsure of how many years Ralph will continue working – they plan to retire in a home they own in Omaha, Neb. – they weren’t eager to take on another mortgage. The idea that Millennials, too, favor the freedom to move easily to change jobs has been much in the news lately. Indeed, the share of homes sold to first-time buyers dropped to 33 percent in 2014, down five percentage points from 2013. They make up the smallest proportion of the market in 27 years, according to the National Association of Realtors. And a study by lending giant Fannie Mae found that among “prime” first-time buyers —... Continue Reading »
For years, while driving by that lopped-off end of the Big Four Bridge, 53 feet off the ground, it was hard to imagine how that rusting “bridge to nowhere” could become a recreational treasure. Yet “good things come to those who wait, and wait, and wait,” David Karem, president of the Louisville Waterfront Development Corp., said when the completed pedestrian walkway across the Ohio River finally opened in May 2014. The $41 million project was part of the 13-acre Phase III of Louisville’s waterfront redevelopment plan. Though the half-mile circular ramp to the bridge on the Louisville side opened in February 2014, there was no way down on the Indiana side until more than a year later. Since then, more than 1 million people have hoofed it from one state to another across the bridge. Now, like Cincinnati’s “Purple People Bridge,” which allows people to park in the northern Kentucky side and walk to games at its riverfront stadiums, Louisville’s Big Four offers a similar function. To many people though, walking the bridge is the destination itself. On warm summer evenings, it can be packed with gawkers at the boats along the river and the changing colors as the sun dips from the sky. “It’s very egalitarian,” says Joan Ross, who lives at the RiverPark Place apartments. “You see old people, you see teenagers, you kind of see everybody. You can walk there and watch the sun set.” Going to dinner across the bridge – the half-mile span has a quarter-mile ramp on each end, making crossing the bridge a two-mile walk by itself – involves about 8,000 steps...
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Come next summer, diners and just hanger-outers will have a new hangout down on the river. The folks who brought Doc Crow’s to Whiskey Row and La Coop in Nulu– and just opened Union Common in Nashville – plan to open a 12,000-square-foot restaurant as part of the RiverPark Place project. Chip Hamm “This one will be about beer,” said investor and attorney Chip Hamm, though he professes to not know the details of the as-yet-unnamed restaurant’s food concept. Doc Crow’s was about whiskey and bourbon, he explained, and La Coop about wine. “But they don’t let me anywhere near the kitchen.” He’s referring to his partners in the renamed Falls City Hospitality Group — Michael and Steven Ton, who broughtBasa to Frankfort Avenue, master sommelier Brett Davis and chef Bobby Benjamin. Steven Ton previously told Insider Louisville the waterfront restaurant will be a “sports-friendly concept with about 120 beers on tap, wines on tap, maybe even cocktails on tap.” He described it as roadhouse type of food – buckets of seafood and burgers – sort of like the chain Yard House, but better. (Its menu includes burgers, street tacos, along with deviled eggs and turkey pot pie.) Hamm admits he had his doubts when it was first suggested he meet with developer Steve Poe. “Frankly, I thought it was a dumb idea,” he said of plans for the waterfront restaurant. He said initially they considered putting a bar in the historic house to be restored on the property, but have since decided on the new building whose foundation is going in now. The new restaurant will be at least twice the size of Doc Crow’s. “The reason I pooh-poohed it...