It didn’t take long for Louis’s the Ton to go from “for sale” to “pending.”
The neighborhood bar, at 1601 Story Ave., is expected to change hands at the end of this month. Emmanuel Dumigron, founder of Louis’s the Ton, is selling the business and the building to Isaiah Hoagland, a real estate agent who buys and renovates old properties.
“He’s somebody I know, and somebody I think believes in the neighborhood and its growth,” Dumigron said, noting that a couple of others had expressed interest in buying the bar. “It’s all good things.”
Within 24 hours, Dumigron said he and Hoagland were able to strike a deal. The 4,400-square-foot building and the Louis’s The Ton brand together are selling for $465,000.
He previously told Insider Louisville that he was ready to get out of the bar business as he was approaching 50. Zach Fry, a real estate agent with Keller Williams, and Scott Howe, an agent with Gant Hill & Associates, are representing Dumigron in the sale.
Although Hoagland’s never owned a bar before, he said Louis’s the Ton is one of his favorite local bars because of its “community feel.” He also saw that it could complement his other venture down the street.
Hoagland and his wife, Angela Hoagland, bought the Linden Hill Bed and Breakfast, at 1607 Frankfort Ave., in 2014. They’ve spent the past three years renovating the historic building and hope to open it for business soon.
Because he will be new to bar ownership, Hoagland said he planned to keep on the existing staff. Dumigron also has agreed to advise and support him as needed.
Customers won’t notice major changes to how the space looks, Hoagland said. “What I am going to do is enhance it a little bit.”
A single television will be added in the lounge area to accommodate people who want to watch major sporting events such as the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky’s runs during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Currently, Louis’s the Ton has no televisions.
“We are not turning it into the sports bar at all,” Hoagland said. “We are making it more of a living room space, and that will be the only one.”
He also plans to add to the bourbon selection, and when the kitchen build-out is completed, he said, Louis’s the Ton will finally start serving food — something that was part of Dumigron’s vision when he opened the bar in 2014. Hoagland said he’s in talks with a few people to run the kitchen, which will serve gourmet tacos.
“That will be a big draw,” he said of adding food service. There’s not really a nearby taco place, he added, “other than if you head up Frankfort Avenue and they’re not necessarily taco oriented.”
Beginning the first week in April, Hoagland said, he plans to introduce a food menu. However, the tacos will be available on Fridays and Saturdays only to start, so Louis’s the Ton can test the waters.
“If the food is successful, which I think it will be, we will close in that first-floor beer garden” in the back of Louis’s the Ton, he said, “and make that more of an intimate dining space.”
This summer, if operations continue to go well, Hoagland said he hopes to add a rooftop terrace over the beer garden.
“The idea is to keep it the same — a public house where neighbors and the city can come,” he said.