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Downtown Restaurants Take Hit in Downturn

Louisville restaurants had a tough year in 2008 and many continue to struggle to bring diners through the door. But Kentucky Restaurant Association head Stacy Roof says attracting diners – who feel they don’t have the money to spend dining out –is only one of the problems restaurants are facing.

“Food costs are higher than they have been in years, and commodity prices really hit some new all time high levels last year.  Even liquor prices for restaurants that serve alcohol went up.  So I think they were fighting things on both ends,” Roof says.

Downtown Louisville’s restaurant scene has been particularly hard hit.  Downtown, Stella, Lolo’s Table, EP’s Delta Kitchen, Jillian’s, and Primo have all closed within the past year.

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Local News

Financial Crisis Adds To Restaurant Industry Woes

The president of the Kentucky Restaurant Association says the industry has been reeling from soaring prices for staples and commodities for more than a year, and the continued turbulance in the nation’s financial markets is making a bad situation worse.

Higher gas prices have driven up food costs, and the KRA’s Stacy Roof says restauranteurs are paying about 29 percent more this year for goods such as flour, cheese, poultry and beef.

“So that coupled with the fact that the public is being scared half to death and being alerted that they need to take their money and be very wise with it, then the restaurants are really feeling it on both ends,” Roof said.

She says restaurant owners who are not well established typically have a hard time borrowing money under normal circumstances, but the task is even more difficult now because of a tighter credit market.