Bruce Allar

Bruce Allar’s 10-year run as editor of Louisville Magazine will end February 18 with his departure to take over meeting planning duties at Pizza Expo.

The firm is the convention arm of McFadden-Protech Publishing, which publishes Pizza Today magazine in downtown Louisville.

Ironically, Allar’s parting marks the second time he’s left Louisville magazine to work for McFadden-Protech, albeit in completely different roles. The Minneapolis native moved to Louisville in the mid-1980s to work as a reporter for the now-defunct Louisville Times newspaper.

When McLean, Va.-based  Gannett Co. Inc. closed the city’s afternoon edition, Allar became a freelance reporter for Louisville magazine and eventually its associate editor. He left that post in the mid-1990s to become editor of Pizza Today (a trade magazine focusing on the U.S. pizza industry), where he served several years before heading back to Louisville as editor in late 2000.

After more than 35 years in journalism, Allar, 57, said he’s looking forward to a new challenge.

“I felt like I’d explored and done a lot of the things I’d been trained to do as a journalist,” said Allar. “So I felt it was a good time to make a change and try something really different from what I’ve been doing all these years. (Change) keeps things fresh.”

While Allar said a 10-year-run in the editor’s chair at any publication is “a good, long run,” he said he’s “going to miss both the office staff and the work.” But he’s eager to get back to working with pizzeria operators, a group he remembers fondly from his days writing about their businesses.

“Those are very real and genuine folks in that business; they’re people who aren’t pretentious,” he said. “I really look forward to seeing some of them again.”

To his credit, Allar was an old-school editor who liked reporting on controversial topics and insisted on well-researched stories. (Full disclosure: I freelance for Louisville magazine and have benefitted from Allar’s guidance and tough questions about my own copy.)

Be it exposing problems of toxic pollution flowing into Louisville’s air from New Albany’s Gallagher Generating Station, or the softer saga of last year’s death of Scotty, the Louisville Zoo’s juvenile elephant, Allar liked stories that “meant something to people.”

His monthly editor’s column reaped both praise and rage from readers who either lauded him publicly or dropped their subscriptions in protest.

“Overall I felt like it was getting people’s attention and that they were reading it, which is what you want to happen,” he said.

Allar said he doesn’t know who will take over as Louisville’s editor, arguably one of the town’s top publishing positions.

“I don’t get to pick my successor, and I can’t understand that,” he quipped. “I’m sure we’ll find out soon.”

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Steve Coomes
Steve Coomes is a restaurant veteran turned award-winning food, spirits and travel writer. In his 24-year career, he has edited and written for multiple national trade and consumer publications including Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. He is a feature writer for Louisville magazine, Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass and Food & Dining Magazine. The author of two books, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and the "Home Distiller's Guide to Spirits," he also serves as a ghostwriter for multiple clients.

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