The 'Ville Voice header image 1

Unimpressed with that Really Expensive Makeover

April 24th, 2009 by admin · 16 Comments

We had spies at the Sports and Social Club‘s soft opening last night. The VIP party showcased the new nightclub at 4th Street Live and left us wondering — what did they do with the rest of the money?

If you haven’t been paying attention, this is the Cordish project to renovate Lucky Strike Lanes.  Mayor Abramson’s administration infamously awarded nearly a million “downtown redevelopment” dollars to Cordish for it.

Our spy says the biggest change is that the color scheme changed from red to blue. You can still bowl (if you don’t mind paying $5 a game), and there’s plenty of plasma in the house. Watching TV seems to be the main sport. There’s new bars with bright finishes, but some of the old furniture remains, or stuff that looks really similar to Lucky Strike decor.

And at the club’s VIP opening, our friend noticed no VIPs. Not the Mayor, not a Council member, not even a big shot from U of L or Churchill Downs. Maybe they’re coming to the public opening today, though it’s more likely no public official wants to be associated with the project.

Our friend did compliment the mostly blonde wait staff and enjoyed the rock and roll. Didn’t see a menu, but the hors d’oevres being served were typical bar food. Plans for late-night munchies were touted by the  Cordish rep in attendance.

We’ve got two questions: It’s pretty obvious that Cordish didn’t spend $850,000 on remodeling, so is there no requirement that it justify its spending? If Lucky Strike couldn’t do enough business to survive, what makes anyone think that a fancy sports bar that’s not a whole lot different will thrive here?

You might as well go down there and check it out, though, since your tax dollars paid for it.

Tags: Cordish · Downtown · Economy · Jerry Abramson · Metro Council

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 N-square // Apr 24, 2009 at 10:32 am

    “There’s new bars with bright finishes….” The editor in my can’t resist correcting this. It should be “There are new bars….”

  • 2 Flintstone // Apr 24, 2009 at 10:52 am

    “The editor in me can’t resist correcting this…” The editor in me can’t resist correcting this. It should be “The editor in me…”

  • 3 Steve Magruder (I, not D or R) // Apr 24, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Let’s just say it… much of the money likely was funneled into something else. Of course, I say this as an allegation and not a proven fact.

    I’m never going to this place, and I hope everyone else avoids it as well. Mayor Jer needs to be taught a lesson.

  • 4 N-square // Apr 24, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Thanks for editing me.

  • 5 Henry Watterson // Apr 24, 2009 at 11:24 am

    “Of course, I say this as an allegation and not a proven fact.”

    Ah, citizen journalism…

  • 6 Greg // Apr 24, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Steve, boycotting a sports bar won’t teach Jerry anything.

    Voting in a qualified opponent next November will.

  • 7 Greg // Apr 24, 2009 at 11:53 am

    It’s very difficult to refrain from imagining where that money went. It’s very tempting to imagine that it was funneled into something or someone unrelated to the actual refurbishment.

    In fact, I can’t imagine anywhere the money could’ve gone that would be acceptable.

    The arrogance of this administration is astounding.

  • 8 Steve Magruder (I, not D or R) // Apr 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Greg, I certainly agree with you.

    Anybody but Abramson in 2010.

  • 9 David // Apr 24, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Do they have to disclose how the money was spent? Maybe a news reporter could ask? Might make for an interesting story. The only place I’ve seen it mentioned is here.

  • 10 Greg // Apr 24, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    David,
    It’s been asked by several TV stations, Francene and several council members. In fact, when Mark Hebert took cameras down there during the buildout, they put boards up over the window so that no one could see what was going on with your tax dollars.

    Symbolic of the administration’s overall budget approach? Some might think so…

    This mayor is allergic to transparency. Why is that? We get a lot of “Just trust me” from Mer Jer. Disturbing…

  • 11 Sylar Q. Throckmorton // Apr 24, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    The Mayor doesn’t have to explain anything. He has our best interests at heart. If President Obama can serve $100/lb. beef at the White House during a recession, then we ought to let Mayor Jerry spend the city’s money however he wants, too. Hey Cordish – keep the change!! This is how Democrats do things.

  • 12 AEIOU // Apr 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    I think the City adminstration is on Drugs!….They are going to continue to screw the taxpayers & the Metro Council, with their lies and non-disclosure. The amount of damage they have caused in the local business community is unbelievable……they should be indited on charges of conspiricy, embellezment , tax fraud, and whatever else applies….but continue to blow the accountability off!…..It’s going to take a taxpayer lawsuit to find out the real deal & that will take some financial angel & a willing and abused planitiff to have the nuts to stand up and be heard. Where do you think a reasonable plaintiff could be found & how many others would join the action once it’s launched?

  • 13 brad // Apr 24, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Are you kidding!???????…….If someone had the money to iniciate the action , I bet it would be supported agressively by each and every business downtown that has had to put up with the City giving all that money away Free to their partners. What a spit in the face!

  • 14 Crutnacker // Apr 24, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    I got an idea, how about if we all go down there, buy a bit of food, or get a drink and simply walk out on the check. If anyone asks, just tell them to send the bill to the city, and when the tab gets over $850,000, let us know and we’ll start paying.

  • 15 king of cards // Apr 25, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Crutnacker ,has an excellent suggestion, what time do we meet to do that, maybe a Facebook & myspace campaign to stage a protest is in order, I think everyone is tired of getting it in the Bung Hole from the City…….

  • 16 Raoul Duke // Apr 25, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Well, it’s nice to know that Big Head Jerry was willing to spend millions giving the interlopers from the Terrapin State a leg up and was so willing to screw Don and Ward who for twenty-five years put up their own money and employed hundreds of people.

    Old Big Head doesn’t give a hoot in hell for the people who were dumb enough to vote for him…only outsiders. A pox on his house.

google

couk