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Boombozz Pizza and Taphouse opening new location in Jeffersonville in August


Tony Palombino

Tony Palombino

If you’re a Hoosier and a fan of Boombozz Pizza, your drive to get one will shorten considerably this summer.

Mid-August is the projected opening of the newest Boombozz Pizza & Taphouse, a 6,000-square-foot, 195-seater with a large bar and patio area located in the Jeffersonville Town Center on Veterans Parkway.

Concept creator and franchisor Tony Palombino said he and franchisee Rich Cleaves negotiated almost a year to get the rights to lease the building, which formerly housed a Beef O’ Brady’s restaurant.

“I’d actually looked at coming to that location back in 2008, but the economic downturn stopped that idea,” said Palombino, who also owns and operates Manny & Merle, a downtown Louisville Mex-grub honky-tonk. “Once the Beef O’ Brady’s closed, the developer approached us last summer to talk about it.”

Jeffersonville Town Center’s struggle to attract and keep tenants kept Cleaves and Palombino questioning whether they should open there. (To get an idea of its location, when coming from Louisville, most typically turn left below the I-65 overpass to head to Bass Pro Shops or other large retailers. Drivers turn right to go to the Town Center, an area which is far less developed than land headed in the other direction.)

Palombino said the developer promised that will change soon.

“We can’t say what we’ve been told, but a large retailer is supposed to announce soon that it’s coming there,” he said.

The new Boombozz opening is good news for Palombino, who had to shutter his A.P. Crafter’s restaurant in Westport Village a few months ago.

He insisted sales at the business were fine, but said buying back all shares of the business from two business partners (who live in Arizona) forced him to renegotiate a new lease with his landlord.

That company, Underhill Associates, sold its controlling interest in Westport Village to Chicago-based Inland American Real Estate Trust Inc., in February, and Palombino said they’d not negotiate on favorable terms.

“In fact, they said my rent was going up,” said Palombino, adding that the A.P. Crafter’s site battled continuous plumbing problems. “On the last day of operations there, we had some of the highest grossing sales in months. But we couldn’t go on there.”

He said Manny & Merle is doing well, despite some challenges with the traffic highs and lows common to downtown Louisville restaurants.

“We knew what to expect going in there because we’d talked to other businesses that had been there longer,” he said, adding that the concept’s live music component will be duplicated at the new Boombozz. “So the reality of doing business in downtown was evident at first, but it finally turned around. Overall, so far, so good.”

The creator of concepts such as the short-lived That’s A Wrap, and Bazo’s Fresh Mexican Grill, (Palombino sold it several years ago and the current operator has grown it to three units), Palombino calls himself “a concept junkie” who loves the development end of the business.

Not surprisingly, he said Boombozz Pizza & Taphouse is his favorite concept and clearly his most successful.

“It’s the best so far, no doubt,” said Palombino, who franchises four units and owns one. “We’re in that concept for the long haul.”


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