The tavern is coming under new ownership. | Courtesy of Harrod’s Creek Tavern

Longtime family-owned bar Darkstar Tavern is under new ownership.

Along with the change, it will get a new name and undergo some upgrades, according to Adele Guarino-Sanders, who along with business partner Charles “Rusty” Hocker II bought Darkstar Tavern after hearing it was for sale.

“We are both just entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity,” said Guarino-Sanders, who works as a real estate agent. Hocker owns several Cricket Wireless stores.

Darkstar Tavern will now be known as Harrod’s Creek Tavern.

The Darkstar name was a holdover from the tavern’s days as a popular Frankfort Avenue hangout. The business moved to 6313 River Road, which sits along Harrod’s Creek, back in 2014 after Pat Hagan bought the property for Crescent Hill Craft House.

Guarino-Sanders said she and Hocker plan to invest in some improvements to Harrod’s Creek Tavern, including redoing the docks and turning the second floor into a private club. The upper level currently is outfitted as an apartment.

“It’s going to be ongoing; it’s not like we can shut down,” she said. “We got to do this as we can.”

Guarino-Sanders and Hocker have retained the staff and plan to keep fried chicken Thursday going, but she hopes to reintroduce separate summer and winter menus at the tavern, rather than offering the same menu year-round.

“We’re going to keep the good and the things that made it unique, and we are going to add to it,” Guarino-Sanders said.

For nearly 30 years, Nancy Fischer owned the bar, and her son Bob Fischer ran it.

“He just got pretty much burnt out because he’s been doing it for so many years,” said Nancy Fischer, adding that her son moved to Florida, but her daughter Angie will continue to work at the tavern for the new owners.

“I wish them all the success in the world,” she said.

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]