Iconic Bardstown Road restaurant is adding space, more seating

One of Louisville's most revered restaurants is getting more space.

Jack Fry's, a 20-table upscale restaurant on Bardstown Road, soon will add four to six more tables, build bigger restrooms, expand storage and office space and add a server area.

In all, it will add about 1,300 square feet to the 3,300-square-foot restaurant. A building permit filed with Louisville Metro Government indicates an estimated construction cost of about $40,000.

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The renovations will happen in three phases, so as not to disrupt the daily operations of the restaurant. It will start with the addition of the server space, which will be on the front side of the building, the part facing Bardstown Road.

General manager Brad Jennings said contractors will enclose a "pie-shaped" space at the corner of the restaurant to give servers their own area. As it is now, they share space in the kitchen with the kitchen staff, making for a cramped back of the house.

The renovation also will include construction on the back end of the building, which faces an alley. With a small addition, the restaurant will add space for the restaurant office, more storage space and bigger restrooms.

Jennings said this has been a thought for a while because the single-person men's and women's restrooms were an obvious problem area in the small restaurant.

"It’s an inconvenience for women to wait on a one-person restroom. And men," Jennings said. "It's something that's needed to be done. It seemed like the right time to undertake the projects."

After those two phases are finished, the third phase of the project will happen.

"Once that’s complete, we will tear out the existing restrooms, and that will make space for a few extra tables," Jennings said.

He said the expansion could make room for four to six new tables. Jack Fry's is not always able to take all of the reservations it receives in a night, he said, so this should help relieve some of the pressure.

"This really should accommodate more people and let more people experience what we do here," he said. "That alone will allow us to accommodate parties of larger sizes."

The renovations hopefully will be done within a few months, wrapping up as soon as September, but possibly going into October. Jennings said it's hard to tell because construction just began.

But, Jennings said, the vibe of the restaurant will remain unchanged, with the same Jack Fry's ambiance to which customers have grown accustomed since its 1930s opening.

"With the exception of a couple walls and a few more tables, it's really not going to change that much," he said. "It will still feel very, very much like Jack Fry’s."

Bridgett Weaver covers technology, banking, entrepreneurs and retail.

Louisville Business First


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