Executive chef Jacob Coronado, left, and bar manager Clay Livingston have an ownership stake in Red Herring. | Courtesy of Jolea Brown

This post has been updated with comment from Jacob Coronado.

The operators of Red Herring Cocktail Lounge & Kitchen announced Monday night that the bar and restaurant will close at the end of business on Sunday, Sept. 16.

The announcement came in the form of a Facebook post, which also left the door open for a possible revival elsewhere.

We want to give a big thank you to everyone who has supported us over the past year and a half. We have strived to produce all of your favorite classic cocktails at the highest level while also providing some innovative libations as well. The Clifton neighborhood has given us a beautiful area to serve the wonderful people of Louisville. A special thank you to all of the local neighbors for enjoying our offerings.

It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing the closing of our space, here in the Clifton neighborhood. We are grateful for the good times spent in our bar and will never forget them. Be on the lookout for us, as we may be seeking out space more suitable for the concept and changes we have been pushing throughout this past year and a half. Our last day of operation will be September 16th.

During its short life, the bar, located in the old Hilltop Theater at 1757 Frankfort Ave., has undergone some changes.

Red Herring originally opened under the management of restaurateur Brett Davis, who’s known for the popular downtown restaurant Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse and Raw Bar and the defunct Waterfront eatery Doc’s Cantina, but in November last year, Davis left the partnership with building owner Mo Deljoo, who also has a stake in Red Herring.

At the same time, executive chef Jacob Coronado and bar manager Clay Livingston took an ownership stake in the bar and restaurant. The pair introduced a regularly changing new menu, with hearty entrees as opposed to small plates, and debuted special promotions, including an initiative to sell hard-to-find bourbons at cost.

Coronado told Insider Louisville that he and Livingston are actively looking for a new place, but it’s early days.

When asked what size space they were searching for, Coronado simply said they don’t want it to be two stories like Hilltop Theater is. “Our first thought is we want to be in Clifton” ideally, he said.

The two-level restaurant space did not meld with the changes that Coronado and Livingston made, Coronado said, noting that rather than having positions, all the employees picked up where needed, be it mixing drinks, bussing tables or making food. As a result, all employees made the same salary and shared tips.

At the Hilltop Theater, “we were kind of feeling like we were losing what we were doing,” he said. Coronado and Livingston hope to bring that model of restaurant management to a new location if they find one.

Insider also reached out to Deljoo about the future of the space but has not heard back.

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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]