LOUISVILLE, Ky. — According to a release, Butchertown Grocery is closing its restaurant for the indefinite future. The restaurant's plans to reopen with the easing of pandemic restrictions have been put on hold.
Additionally, Bobby Benjamin, one of Butchertown Grocery’s founding partners and Executive Chef, has accepted a job outside of Louisville.
The restaurant has been closed to dine-in business since mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the restaurant was closed, the bakery was and will remain open as the owners of the restaurant consider options for the future.
“The Butchertown Grocery team worked relentlessly keeping the bakery open and serving the neighborhood throughout the pandemic," Butchertown Grocery's Chad Welch said. "They have pivoted the business several times and have jumped in with passion and commitment, whether it was experimenting with delivery and menu offerings or working late to delight socially distanced guests with classic tasting menus after hours in the bakery. We are looking forward to serving our Butchertown Grocery customers at the bakery and working with the team through next steps."
Butchertown Grocery's restaurant first opened in 2015 and was immediately recognized as the second-best new restaurant in the nation in an independent poll conducted by USA Today. The bakery opened in late 2019
The release says the pandemic and its longer-term impacts have proven difficult to overcome for the business's team.
Many trained culinary professionals have remade their careers outside of the restaurant business, and, while there was hope to reopen the restaurant earlier this month, Benjamin’s decision to accept employment outside of Louisville has caused the business to conclude in the best interest of all involved while options for the future are considered.
“Bobby put his heart and soul into making Butchertown Grocery great, and I am so proud of what we have achieved,” Principal Owner John Moore said. “I don’t necessarily agree with Bobby’s conviction that the current local environment is not yet ready to support Butchertown Grocery in the way we all loved it, but I understand the uncertainty COVID has brought to restaurants and chefs. I also understand Bobby’s need to prioritize his family against those of a busy restaurant business with potential plans that could have required travel and time away from family."
Butchertown Grocery's restaurant was located on East Washington Street with its bakery on East Main Street.