Biz Briefs of the Week: March 7, 2013

Avalon & Luna Properties Sold

Gant Hill & Associates is pleased to announce the sale of the Avalon Restaurant and Luna Boutique real estate, located at 1310, 1314 and 1316 Bardstown Road. The property, which contains the best patio in town, sold for $1,749,000.

The buyers are attorneys Shawn and Vanessa Cantley, who are also owners of The Silver Dollar, located in the Stoll Firehouse in Clifton, 1761 Frankfort Ave., an extremely successful and nationally acclaimed Honky-Tonk Restaurant and Bar with a Bakersfield theme.

The sellers of the Avalon and Luna Boutique properties were Steve and Mary Beth Clements.

Gant Hill & Associates was the sole real estate representative.

Tom Bannon of Commonwealth Bank handled the financing.

Rodes For Him Remodel

Construction is nearly complete on an estimated $250,000 remodel at Rodes For Him. Fifteen months in the making, the local iconic men’s (and women’s) store is installing two shops-in-shop featuring exclusive lines to this region: Ermenegildo Zegna of Italy and Eton of Sweden. The entire renovation of over 5,000 square feet, which encompasses the men’s portion of the store, includes energy-efficient lighting, all new flooring and state-of-the-art fixtures from Italy and Sweden. “We are so excited and honored to be one of the few specialty stores in the country selected to have the new shops,” said Howard Vogt, Rodes president.

The 900-square-foot Ermenegildo Zegna shop hosts the international men’s luxury clothing, sportswear and accessories brand. The remodel of the entire men’s department at Rodes ties the features and colors of the two shops perfectly and incorporates them into the overall store design. “We wanted the look and feel of the store to be unlike anything in this region!” said Vogt. “We want you to feel like you’ve been transported to Italy, but you’re actually still on Brownsboro Road!”

The Zegna shop features a contemporary combination of upscale finishes and materials which reflect elements of the Zegna brand. All the new fixtures, marble and carpet were manufactured specifically for Rodes in Venice, Italy. The design also features leather and wood trim, contemporary seating, lighted dressing room mirrors and energy-saving LED lighting throughout the store. Zegna sent specialists from Italy to construct the shop following over a year of planning, designing and creating all the components. “We are thrilled to partner with Rodes on this exciting project.” said Vaccari Paolo, Ermenegildo Zegna. “They represent the ‘Gold Standard’ of premium special stores in the country!”

The renovation began in January and will be completed in early March with a grand opening for the Zegna shop on March 7. Rodes is currently planning festivities and trunk shows to celebrate the shops’ openings complete with vendor VIPs attending from Europe. Rodes will donate 10 percent of all sales proceeds from March 7 through 9 to Gilda’s Club of Louisville.

The new Eton of Sweden shop is 300 square feet and features specially-designed fixtures, carpet and floor treatments and a shirt-fabric chandelier, all designed and created in Sweden. The new shop features a plethora of shirts, all of which are meticulously organized in a wall-to-wall spread. Freestanding glass cases, reminiscent of museum displays, showcase vibrant shirts, ties, pocket squares and cufflinks. The grand opening of the Eton shop is scheduled for April 11, with a trunk show on April 12 and 13. “The opening of this shop in Rodes marks an important milestone for Eton,” said Eton’s president, Hans Davidson. “Our loyal customers have asked us time and again for a location in this region. We are very pleased to offer them the full breadth of our collection in this community.”

Erik Wilkinson, Eton’s director of sales, explained, “The new Eton shop will be used to showcase the entire product line of men’s shirts, neckwear, cufflinks and other fine men’s accessories. Also featured will be an extensive selection of formal shirts and accessories – a nod to this very social neighborhood. We want all of our clients to walk through the Eton shop in Rodes and be immersed in the Eton aesthetic.”

Mr. Jim Hines, a 45-year veteran fashion consultant at Rodes For Him, has been selected as the Zegna Specialist to run the new shop.

As part of Rodes’ exciting new metamorphosis, they have also hired a new fashion consultant, Mr. Jeff McCall, at Rodes For Him. Rodes now boasts 16 fashion consultants storewide. Rodes will also unveil their new website,, in March.

Bourbon Trail named ‘Best’ for spring

With warmer weather on the way, National Geographic has kick-started the travel season by designating the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour as one of its top 10 “Best Spring Trips” for 2013.

“Tasting tours and tulips, fish fries and far-flung festivals … Just in time for spring, our editors have selected ten trips that will awaken your senses – and your sense of adventure,” the magazine touted in its online feature.

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail journey is showcased along with excursions and festivals in New Zealand, India, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Argentina and more. Only three American trips made the top 10. Read the entire feature here.

“This is a tremendous honor for our distilleries,” said Adam Johnson, Director of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience. “This accolade from a respected source with an international reach will only bolster our tour’s growing popularity and attendance.”

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure will be recognized March 5 in the Kentucky Senate for attracting more than 500,000 visitors in 2012, the first time the tour has broken the half-million mark since its creation in 1999 by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.

Attendance is already up for early 2013, Johnson said. “And coverage like this will only help continue our record-breaking trend.”

The iconic Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour features Four Roses and Wild Turkey in Lawrenceburg; Heaven Hill in Bardstown; Jim Beam in Clermont; Maker’s Mark in Loretto; Town Branch in Lexington and Woodford Reserve in Versailles.

KDA President Eric Gregory said, “This incredible international publicity reinforces what we’ve seen at our visitor centers and distilleries in the past few years – skyrocketing numbers with travelers from dozens of different countries, all making the pilgrimage to Kentucky for the one, true, authentic Bourbon experience.”

National Geographic’s coverage also spotlighted the recently launched Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, a groundbreaking new tourism attraction that links the state’s artisan micro-distilleries.

“We are very appreciative of National Geographic for this recognition of both our signature attractions, which helps spread the word on Kentucky’s growing ‘mash appeal,’” Johnson said.

“We welcome visitors near and far to experience our hospitality and American’s only native spirit.”

Visit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour online at

A New Ross Dress for Less

Ross Dress for Less, the nation’s largest off-price apparel and home fashion chain with more than 1,000 stores, will expand its presence in Louisville on March 9 at 9 a.m., with the grand opening of a new location in Shelbyville Road Plaza. The new store marks the third Ross Dress for Less location in the greater Louisville area, following the chain’s debut there in July 2012.

Louisville shoppers will find the same brand names carried in department and specialty stores priced at 20 to 60 percent less at Ross. The store will carry great savings on spring styles including apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family, as well as home fashions and gifts.

The new store will give away $1,000 in Ross Dress for Less gift cards. From March 9 to 17, customers may enter in-store for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree or one of five $100 shopping sprees.

Ross Dress for Less is located at Shelbyville Road Plaza, 4600 Shelbyville Road. Store hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. For additional information call 502.899.2507, visit or find them on Facebook at

Fleur-de-Lis Award Winners

Greater Louisville Inc. – The Metro Chamber of Commerce announced March 4 that it will present its prestigious Silver Fleur-de-Lis Award to two deserving recipients at its Annual Meeting, Tuesday, March 19. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the Greater Louisville community and is bestowed upon individuals and organizations that show leadership and action to make the region a better place.

Harold Workman, who recently retired as president & CEO of the Kentucky State Fair Board (KSFB), will be recognized for his 40-year career in the Kentucky agri-business community, where his efforts helped to position the Kentucky Exposition Center and the Kentucky International Convention Center as top competitors in the convention and tradeshow industry.

Workman began his career with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and in 1974 was named general manager of the North American International Livestock Exposition, which he developed into the world’s largest purebred livestock show. He went on to direct all agency-produced events for the KSFB as director of expositions and vice president of expositions & operations. Under his leadership as president & CEO, KEC added substantially to its Class “A” exhibit space and doubled the size of the downtown convention center. He served as executive director of the Louisville Arena Authority where he was instrumental in building the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville.

Workman served on the board of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Commission, is immediate past chairman of the Kentucky Derby Museum board of directors and served on the executive committee of Greater Louisville, Inc. He was named Communicator of the Year by the Bluegrass Chapter of PRSA; inducted into the Saddle and Sirloin Club; presented the Distinguished Service Award by the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives, given the Mangeot-Oaken Award by the Kentucky Travel Industry Association, and named the recipient of the 2011 Dan Mangeot Memorial Award by the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau for a career dedicated to tourism and economic development.

The University of Louisville will be honored for its recent acceptance into The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) as its newest member. The inclusion of UofL into the ACC is representative of both the university’s proven athletic success in the past as well as its exceptional positioning for continued success in the future, where it will now be competing at the highest level in all facets of the collegiate sports experience. The ACC has long been recognized as a vibrant conference that remains steadfast in its commitment to balancing academics and athletics.

In announcing UofL’s acceptance, the ACC cited “its aggressive approach to excellence in every respect” as the reason why “the University of Louisville will enhance our league’s culture and commitment to the cornerstones we were founded on 60 years ago.” UofL officially joins the ACC in 2014.

Accepting the Silver Fleur-de-Lis will be UofL President James Ramsey, who has worked energetically to move the university toward its goal of becoming a premier, nationally recognized, metropolitan institution. Also accepting will be Tom Jurich, UofL’s director of athletics and vice president, who leads one of the most successful intercollegiate athletics programs in the nation. The Cardinals boast a number of team and individual national championships, more than 50 Big East team titles (combined regular season and tournament) since joining that league in 2005 and more than 300 All-America honorees.

In addition to the awards, the evening will feature keynote speaker Jamie Dimon, chairman of the board and CEO of JP Morgan Chase. GLI’s 2013 Annual Meeting, presented by Yum! Brands, will take place Tuesday, March 19 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Galt House Hotel & Suites Grand Ballroom. The evening includes premier networking, the awards program and a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception. Tickets are available at $135 each. Pricing for groups of eight is also available. For more information and to register, visit