Current facade of what could be The Taj at 807 E. Market

Plans for a new bar/lounge in NuLu

This story is close to home, quite literally, as it involves the property across from IL Headquarters, at 807 E. Market St. The space has been boarded up for some time, but recently we saw trucks and workers over there, doing something. So we knocked on the door to find out what. Woodward & Bernstein, this is how it’s done.

A friendly guy named Joe Bratcher opened the door, and then mostly shut it to keep a friendly yellow lab from running into the street. Joe is rehabbing the inside of the building, and is a carpenter for a company called Construction Consultant Services.

Joe called his boss, Todd Moore, the owner of CCS, and put me on the line. Moore was happy to share his plans: He intends to open a bar and lounge and call it The Taj.

Apparently this name should ring a bell with old hands on the Louisville music scene, as The Taj had been the name of the space before, and it’s where bands, including My Morning Jacket, used to practice. Well, it will be a cool space again, Moore says, and will feature local bands, too.

Moore intends to open by late fall. He had originally hoped to open in June, but the space needs additional electrical wiring and service. Moore also is working to get a permit from the city to have sidewalk tables.

“There’ll be no food,” he said, meaning no kitchen. Instead there will be some cold dishes served, and he wants food trucks to service people from the patio out back. “But that’s for way down the line,” he said.

So far Moore says he’s invested $25,000 and wants to keep his total investment under $150,000. For now he’s sole owner of the project, though he may bring in partners. He doesn’t own the building, but rents it.

Plans include a new facade, which makes sense as the current facade is plywood. He is making lots of ornamental ironwork to decorate the space, using his own designs.

When The Taj is ready he plans to launch with a fireworks display and live music on the roof. (One band he mentioned was A Lion Named Roar.)

Ultimately he hopes to offer a more affordable alternative to other NuLu joints. “Market Street is a little over-priced,” he said. He plans to have no cocktail cost more than $9.

NuLu retail shop closing

In other, less celebratory news, NuLu import/export store Canoe is slated to close. They are offering deep discounts, up to 70 percent, on many of their goods, which include imported handmade carpets, clothes and other textile-related items.

Canoe is located on Shelby Street, right off Market, and moved to its present location March 2013, into a building owned by Gill Holland. Prior to that they had been in Butchertown for six years.

We spoke with owner Lynn Seiller last week, but she was too upset about the store’s closing to say much, other than they are not certain when the exact last day would be.

Seiller still plans to lead tours to Turkey, from where she bought many of the goods sold at Canoe.

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