After weeks of speculation about the future of KT’s Restaurant, now we know: It will become Le Moo, a steakhouse and reservation-only live music venue.
A city business loan program broke the news quietly in a release yesterday afternoon, announcing restaurateur Kevin Grangier has received three Metropolitan Business Development Corp. loans totaling $160,000 to bolster his $785,000 investment in the renovated restaurant.
Grangier, whose Belle Noble Entertainment Group bought the business late last year, says he’s planning a high-end steakhouse with a mid-level price point. Growing up in the area, he remembers visiting a booming KT’s, with its packed house, ample square footage and convenient location — to I-64, NuLu and east downtown, Clifton and Crescent Hill, and the Highlands/Cherokee Park neighborhoods. But it needs some updating, he says.
Enter Le Moo, which will borrow from European steakhouse concepts (hence the French-inspired name). Grangier says the menu will be similar to that of his other restaurant, The Village Anchor in Anchorage. That restaurant’s sous chef, Chip Lawrence, will become executive chef at Le Moo.
“I really focused on what the need is for a steak restaurant, and the community is telling me there’s a real need for a mid-priced steak restaurant,” he says.
Grangier also is planning to convert a roughly 2,000-square-foot space in the back of KT’s into a dine-in live music venue called Blue Moo. The reservation-only venue will feature a jazz or blues artist in residency two to three nights per week, he says.
The majority of the $160,000 in METCO loans will go toward updates to the facade and exterior of the building, Grangier says. He expects KT’s to remain open until May, when the bulk of the interior renovations — bathrooms, kitchen — will occur. Le Moo and Blue Moo are slated to open in June.
The KT’s overhaul is happening in the midst of a broader investment in the area from developer Kevin Cogan and the Jefferson Development Group. JDG bought the KT’s building and five other adjacent and nearby parcels in November for a total investment of more than $4.6 million. The developer, whose signature projects include the Park Grande and Cherokee Grande, is known to go big. And while Cogan hasn’t revealed his plans, Grangier says he’s expecting more of that.
“One of the appealing elements of this whole project is the fact that JDG has great plans for the area,” he says. “I’m not anticipating that for the survival of this restaurant at all, but I do think it will bring a lot to the area.”