LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A historic building in downtown Louisville is on the verge of becoming an entertainment venue and bar.
Construction on Number Fifteen at 121 W. Main St. on Whiskey Row has begun, according to a spokesperson for The Numbers Holding Co. LLC, the owner of the building.
The Colorado-based bar and entertainment company announced in May 2021 that it had purchased the six-story WL Weller building for $ 3.65 million. The venue will bring in craft distillers and brewers, musicians and chefs from across Kentucky, the company said. It is set to open in spring 2023.
The name of the venue, Number Fifteen, is a reference to Kentucky being the 15th state to join the union.
Numbers Holding Co. CEO Spencer Fronk said the start of construction brings the company “one step closer to opening and completing the revitalization of the last undeveloped iconic building on historic Whiskey Row.”
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“Our vision for the space is made possible through partnerships with like-minded lenders, who are equally passionate about building an experience embodying both Kentucky’s rich history and Louisville’s bright future,” Fronk said.
Side partners include River City Bank, LordCap Green and Bosse Construction.
River City Bank Chairman Blake Willoughby said the project will “bring a unique experience to Louisville, while honoring the history and identity of Kentucky.”
This is the second concept for The Numbers Holding Co. The first, a $ 15 million venue called Number Thirty Eight in the River North Art District opened in Denver, Colorado, in October 2020.
The company also plans to open additional locations across the country, including in Columbus, Ohio; Atlanta; Austin, Texas; and Portland, Oregon.
The structure at 121 W. Main St. has existed for more than a century. According to a National Register of Historic Places nomination form from 1979, the building “was probably built after the 1893 fire (at an adjacent structure) or at the time of (George) Weller’s purchase of the property (in 1900).”
“The structure is one of the most unique designs in an intact block of Victorian warehouses,” the form said. “Louisville’s Main Street is one of the richest collections of cast-iron and masonry structures in the United States. Very few of the structures employ Beaux-Arts motifs and no other rises totally in red sandstone above the first floor cast-iron piers.”
Before The Numbers Holding Co. purchase, the structure at 121 W. Main St. was purchased for $ 3.2 million in late 2019 by Rick Kueber of RDKJ Properties LLC. Kueber, who is also a Sun Tan City co-founder and Planet Fitness franchisee. He previously said he planned to use the space for offices and food and beverage concepts.
Number Fifteen is the latest new concept considered for Whiskey Row, a historic strip of buildings that was once considered for demolition. Developers have largely revitalized the area, with additions such as Old Forester Distilling Co. and Hotel Distil, among other lodging options and attractions.
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