Brett Davis walked media through inside the future Doc's Cantina in October 2015. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling
Brett Davis walked media through inside the future Doc’s Cantina in October 2015. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling

Brett Davis, managing partner of Falls City Hospitality Group, confirmed Monday that the Louisville restaurant company had closed its Mexican restaurant Doc’s Cantina on River Road.

The company isn’t pulling out of the 200-seat space, however. “I think the location is good, the best view in Louisville,” Davis told Insider Louisville. “We don’t feel like it’s a bad location or a cursed location.”

Falls City Hospitality Group plans to retool and open “something closer to our roots,” which includes Southern food, bourbon and whiskey, he said.

“It’s just what we know. We tried something a little bit outside our realm,” Davis said. “Louisville would be better off having something on the river that speaks to what we are.”

He was unsure when Falls City Hospitality Group would be ready to announce anything about the new concept, including its name, menu and expected open date.

“I think everyone is going to be really happy with what we come up with,” he said.

With a new concept and construction related to the Ohio River Bridges Project wrapping up along River Road, Davis said he believes a new restaurant concept will do well there.

While construction did impact Doc’s Cantina, Davis said the restaurants numbers were fine. Louisville just has too many Mexican concepts for Doc’s Cantina to be a “strong enough draw.”

“Basically, I don’t think we hit a home run there,” Davis said. “We were doing pretty good numbers in terms of people, but it wasn’t enough.”

Some employees will go to work at Falls City Hospitality Group’s other Louisville restaurant, Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar downtown, but the company is working with most to help them find jobs at other restaurants.

Employees should be able to find other employment easily, Davis said, given the restaurant labor shortage in the city. “Everyone is looking.”

Doc’s Cantina opened back in April and employed roughly 100 people. Falls City Hospitality Group invested roughly $3 million in renovations of the River Road building.

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Caitlin Bowling
Louisville native Caitlin Bowling has covered the local restaurant and retail scene since 2014. After graduating from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Caitlin got her start at a newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina where she won multiple state awards for her reporting. Since returning to Louisville, she’s written for Business First and Insider Louisville, winning awards for health and business reporting and becoming a go-to source for business news. In addition to restaurants and retail business, Caitlin covers real estate, economic development and tourism. Email Caitlin at [email protected]