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    In our May issue, we asked our staff what closed Louisville business they miss most.

     

    I tried sushi for the first time at Maido on Frankfort Avenue. And oh how I miss those crab-cream croquettes!

    — Lindsay Flint, advertising production coordinator

     

    I think a lot of us miss the original Z-Bar — correctly spelled Zanzibar, not Zanzabar. The record guy who came in to update the big Wurlitzer jukebox automatically brought along a new copy of Merrilee Rush’s “Angel of the Morning.” The closer it got to sunrise, the more that song played.

    — Bill Doolittle, contributing writer

     

    For the first two years after Burger’s Market closed, I avoided driving past it. In the manner of Tony Soprano, I’d mutter, “Grinstead Drive, you are dead to me.” So bereft was I, I couldn’t even glance at the site. I missed everything about it: the cozy containment; the super-efficient layout; the family-run vibe; the way you could dash over at the last minute to pick up unusual foodstuffs long before those became the law of the land: golden beets, double Devon cream, French roasted chestnuts, Mallomars! The Burger brothers called every regular customer “hon.” Also, those dudes behind the butcher counter made some mean sandwiches. And to top it all off, despite the miniscule parking lot, there was always a spot for my car. I can still smell the yeasty aroma of the place. My best dreams are set there.

    — Mary Welp, contributing writer

     

    I loved exploring Baer Fabrics on Market Street as a kid. Three floors of fabrics, costume makings and a bazillion buttons. My mom would take me there to get ballet slippers and leotards, and I remember picking out sewing patterns that had fashion models illustrated on the cover. The smell, like an old hardware store, remains in my mind. And there was this cool old elevator that for some time had a human operator. It all felt like a world that existed before me. It was sad enough when the 103-year-old store (which had lived at that location since the ’70s) closed in 2008, but then the building got demolished several years later to make way for the I-65 expansion.

    — Mary Chellis Nelson, managing editor

     

    LaBelle Gallery & Map Center on East Chestnut Street at Shelby. I miss the maps, but I miss Frank Longaker (R.I.P.) more.

    — Jack Welch, copy editor

     

    During high school and early college, ear X-tacy anchored my Bardstown Road exploration. Not only could you grab new music, but I remember Tenacious D, Foo Fighters and Louisville band Young Widows playing there. It helped shape my musical tastes, and is why music is still such a huge part of my life.

    — William DeShazer, photographer

     

    The restaurant Hillbilly Tea. I’m at a loss for where to take out-of-towners to give them that “Old Kentucky Home” vibe.

    — Megan Heinsohn

     

    Unique Thrift Store in Portland. I once found a beautiful, hand-stamped Spanish leather purse for only $5. I carried it for a few years, then sold it for $10. 

    — Taylor Killough, contributing writer

     

    Avalon, mainly for its fabulous patio.

    — Stacey Hallahan, advertising director

     

    Burger’s Market. Although the great butcher team from there is now at Paul’s on Chenoweth, and the famous fried chicken sandwich is available at Lilly’s/La Peche.

    — Matthew Barzun, publisher

     

    Lydia House. Where is the pot that never moved from its burner, simmering a never-ending pot of stock for noodle bowls? I ended up there last November, not knowing it would be my last taste. They abruptly closed a month later. Who slurped the last noodle?

    — Jenny Kiefer, contributing writer

     

    We had never been to Lydia House when we first moved to Germantown a year ago and were so excited to be able to walk there for brunch and ramen. Honorable mention: For Goodness Crepes. The cookies-and-cream dessert crepe was sinful.

    — Alexandra Winters, digital media manager

     

    I often think about Ann’s Grill, which was on Baxter Avenue where Flanagan’s is now. I frequented the joint when I lived around the corner in the late ’90s. It was an old-school diner, run by a woman who wasn’t named Ann, damn it. She would buy groceries early in the morning and walk them to the restaurant. Not Ann, damn it, would fire up the grill, break out the griddle brick and spit on the hot surface to clean it. Cheeseburgers and crinkle fries. She’d tune the radio to the A.M. station that played oldies from the ’20s through the ’50s. The station I.D. was “Your memory maker.”

    — Suki Anderson, art director

     

    I will never stop mourning the loss of Wild and Woolly Video. I know the Internet has heaps of everything. But there was something thrilling about roaming the store and catching a glimpse of the odd and obscure, entertaining and campy. I’m bummed movie nights with my kids won’t include scanning the walls for the new stuff and then fingering through an army of plastic-encased film covers in hopes of hunting down something spectacular.

    — Anne Marshall, senior writer

     

    The Vogue Theater on Lexington Road was Louisville’s last single-screen independent movie house, and it showed an eclectic mix of black-and-white classics, art and foreign releases, and other noncommercial notables. It closed in 1998, but I remember like yesterday my last trip there: Revelers like me, many of us having smuggled in a few adult treats, filled nearly all 800 seats to watch David Byrne of the Talking Heads do his big-suit dance in the Stop Making Sense concert movie. It got even better as we exited through a gaggle of costumed, in-character cultists waiting for the weekly midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show that ran for more than 20 years at the Vogue.

    — Bruce Allar, contributing writer

     

    15 Ounce Premium Denim on Lexington Road. The staff would always fetch a different size or give an honest opinion. In many other stores, the employees seem to avoid catching your eye or watch you like you’re a criminal. 

    — Mandy Wood, advertising account executive

     

    I miss not being able to make more blurry memories at T. Eddie’s. The dive bar, on the border of Shelby Park and Germantown, was where I learned how to throw an unwanted shot of booze on the floor undetected, and it’s where I cut my teeth as an up-and-coming karaoke star. Speaking of teeth, it’s also the place I chipped my front tooth. I think of you every time I smile, T. Eddie’s.

    — Katie Molck, contributing writer

     

    I was crazy about trains as a kid. Thomas was my ride-or-die, and I’m pretty sure his bright-red buddy, James, came as close to a crush as a three-year-old can have on an anthropomorphic locomotive. Even though I don’t collect trains anymore (though I still have a scar from when I was a little dude and tripped and slashed my neck on a model’s smokestack), I was bummed when L&N Trains and Things on Frankfort Avenue closed in 2013 after 32 years in business. Tiny tracks wound through idyllic villages and other elaborate setups. It was so easy to head over to Clifton and catch a quick ride to childhood.

    — Dylon Jones, staff writer

     

    This originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of Louisville Magazine as the Inter-Office Memo. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

    Cover photo: Pexels.com

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