LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A new year may bring a new owner for Lynn's Paradise Café. The restaurant closed mid-January, but the lights are still on and the quirky gift shop is stocked. As the anniversary of its sudden closing nears, there are buyers want to purchase and reopen Lynn's. So what's the hold up?
The whimsical restaurant where toy trains entertain and a disco ball sparkles above vintage table lamps hasn't seen guests since the night of January 11, 2013.
While the lights are on for the neighborhood, the Original Highlands lost a thriving landmark when Lynn's Paradise Café suddenly shut down. Lynn Winter, the owner of the restaurant, said her health is one of the reasons she closed the business.
"I got the shingles," said Winter, "and I thought I was going to die back in January."
For the past eleven months, Winter's team repainted her Technicolor destination location. They scrubbed every inch of the place and resurfaced the basement. More than $400,000 has been spent in preparations to sell the business as a turnkey operation. So I asked Winter how soon will the Bourbon Ball French Toast will be back on the table?
"Nice, trick question," said Winter. "I've got some really good people who want to buy the restaurant, so we'll see how that goes."
Four potential buyers are eyeing the business. Patty Schnatter, Lynn's chief operating officer, said she would like to see a line waiting to get in before the closing anniversary.
"We actually had a gentleman who willed his New Year's reservation to his family and so I'd really like to see it be open before New Year's," said Schnatter.
Winter is selling Lynn's Paradise Café as a brand, not just a property along Barret Avenue where local shops are eager to see something open.
"People came from all over the city and when they were visiting, it was a place to head to said Jennifer Rubenstein of Keep Louisville Weird. "It would be great to have another unique business there."
lynn's says there is local interest to keep the ownership here, but wouldn't say if ink is dry on a contract just yet. If and when it happens it could take four to six weeks to reopen.
When asked whether Winter would stay on in some fashion, Schnatter said Winter is willing to work for awhile as a consultant if the new owners wanted her to. If they don't want Winter involved, Schnatter said that's okay too.
Winter also said a labor dispute was not a factor in her decision to close 11 months ago.
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