Welcome to The Closing Bell. This is your last stop for biz scoops and big news before the weekend — a roundup of stories that can’t wait till Monday.
Humana pilots a new kind of prescription: Spend time in nature
Ask your doctor if going to the park is right for you.
Humana wants doctors in Florida to write patients prescriptions for going to local parks.
Humana hopes the prescriptions will improve the patients’ health and lower the insurer’s costs.
The year-long pilot program, in Plantation, Fla., includes four physicians, a nurse practitioner and 164 patients who have agreed to be “prescribed” spending time in nature and engaging in a activities tailored to their needs.
Humana will study how the program affects patient health, including weight, blood pressure and glucose levels.
Humana would not tell IL how much money it projects to save as doctors prescribe time in parks — rather than prescription drugs. Spokeswoman Nancy Hanewinckel told IL via email that if the health of participating patients improves and the company saves money, it would be a “win-win.”
In a press release, the insurer cited research that indicates spending time outdoors has health benefits including lower levels of depression, reduction of stress and a better immune system.
“When people hear the word ‘prescription,’ they usually think of pills, but there are so many ways people can improve their health without medication,” said Dr. Yogi Hernandez Suarez, the company’s Chief Medical Officer – Integrated Care Delivery Organization. “We hope this program can show people that being outside can improve their physical and mental health.”
While patients at the Plantation Metcare Clinic are primarily older adults, Humana said almost everyone would benefit from spending more time in nature.
Hanewinckel said the company will await the study results to determine whether to expand the program.
In early June, Humana launched a nationwide program in which it employed virtual reality to promote spending time in national parks.
The Louisville-based insurer this month also said it is making an online mindfulness training program available to employers as part of its wellness offerings. —Boris Ladwig
Costco opening in two weeks, Chick-fil-A delayed
Expect traffic to increase exponentially in Bashford Manor on Aug. 27.
The cause won’t be the construction every Louisvillian has become familiar with in recent years. It will be the result of Costco fanatics — likely in vans or possibly U-Hauls — gunning for deals. The national members-only warehouse offers customers pretty much everything in bulk, as well as deals on larger purchases such as furniture.
Given the ballyhoo when the new Costco announced plans to open at 3408 Bardstown Road, the new store is expected to be a boon for development in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Hours of operation for the Bardstown Road Costco will be 10 a.m to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m to 6 p.m. Sunday. The location will include a pharmacy, gas station, optometry center and food court.
Also planned on the property is a new Chick-fil-A. The 4,561-square-foot restaurant will include a drive-thru, indoor playground and outdoor dining patio.
Media reports originally stated that the fast-food chicken chain — a top competitor of locally owned KFC — planned to open a this fall. However, a spokesman for the company told IL this week that the timeline has changed. Construction won’t begin until early next year, putting the opening sometime in spring 2017.
New Vietnamese restaurant weeks away from opening
Pho Ba Luu is expected to open in three to four weeks, with a soft opening sometime before that, according to Jessica Mach, managing partner of the new Vietnamese restaurant.
Mach, who is opening the restaurant with Mimi Ha, managing partner of August Moon Chinese Bistro, briefly updated the NuLu Business Association at its monthly meeting on Wednesday.
The restaurant is located in a 2,200-square-foot space at 1019 E. Main St. and is part of a larger redevelopment project spearheaded by developer Andy Blieden.
Since IL last reported on the restaurant, Pho Ba Luu has posted a menu to its Facebook page with items ranging from $5 to $12. The menu include crispy rolls, spring rolls, four Banh Mi sandwiches, three Pho soups, noodle bowls and rice bowls.
Soccer club struggling
Louisville’s professional soccer club has had a rough four weeks, with declining attendance, only one win in four matches and the release of a study that indicated a stadium could cost $50 million and would require a significant private investment.
Wednesday’s attendance at Slugger Field was 5,564, or about 1,300 below the attendance in the 11th match of last year. It marked the second time in three matches that this year’s attendance was below last year’s.
Attendance through 11 matches was 78,692, up about 11 percent from last year — but the gap has narrowed significantly. Through five matches, attendance had been up 28 percent over last year.
The club’s on-field performance, too, has sputtered, and at exactly the wrong time. After a three-month, 17-match unbeaten streak, the team has won only one of its last four games, losing two of those matches and, on Wednesday, tying the lowly Harrisburg City Islanders, a team that ranks third from the bottom.
While LouCity FC remains in first place in the Eastern Division, the teams in second and third places (New York Red Bulls II and FC Cincinnati) have played only 21 games so far — compared to LouCity’s 23. With two victories, both teams would move ahead of the Louisville club.
If Louisville City FC wants to retain any realistic chance at winning the division this year, it pretty much has to win its clash with NYRB II on Aug. 19 in New York. A loss there would put the club in a situation where it could win its last six matches — and still not finish first. —Boris Ladwig
Former Houndmouth member closing NuLu store
Kate Toupin announced via Facebook that Bermuda Highway, an upscale, music-themed clothing store she started in 2014, is closing on Aug. 15.
“This is bittersweet but we are announcing that we will be closing our doors on the 15th of this month. Thank you so much for all the love and support. We are having a massive sale, 40-50% off clothes. Website discount is 40OFF,” the Facebook post from Aug. 3 states.
Toupin was a founding member of the New Albany-based band Houndmouth, which has risen to acclaim during the past few years and toured internationally. She left the band in April in what was described on the band’s website as “an amicable split” to “pursue other opportunities.”
IL reached out to Bermuda Highway but did not hear back. The post doesn’t offer any insight into why the store is closing, but Toupin, whose solo artist moniker is ZuZu, may be writing some new material based on this recent tweet.
Wax on: Maker’s Mark exceeds 2 million hours without a lost-time accident
Kentucky Labor Cabinet‘s deputy secretary Mike Nemes paid a visit to the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Lorretto, Ky., on Monday — not to try and find a cask-strength bottle of Maker’s 46, but to acknowledge a milestone. He awarded Rob Samuels, chief operating officer at Maker’s Mark, with a Governor’s Safety and Health Award for employees of Maker’s working more than 2 million consecutive hours without a lost time injury or illness.
“It brings me great pleasure to present this award to a company that represents one of Kentucky’s signature industries,” said Derrick Ramsey of the Labor Cabinet in a press release. “This is not an easy task in this business, and much credit goes to everyone who has embraced this culture of safety.”
According to Samuels, the Maker’s safety team is employee-led and assists in driving safety awareness and helps incorporate it into the distillery’s day-to-day culture.
“This award is truly for everybody at the distillery, because safety has become part of the culture here,” he said in the release. “It’s not just a focus for a few people in leadership or in safety-related jobs, rather every single person on the campus has embraced the expectation that everything we do to create our product is going to be done in a way that keeps everyone safe.”
Documentary commissioned by Doe-Anderson wins regional Emmy
Louisville advertising agency Doe-Anderson commissioned the TV documentary “The Milton-Madison Bridge: History on the Ohio” from independent producer Mark Crowner as part of their work handling PR for the bridge project, which entailed construction of a new crossing between Milton, Ky. and Madison, Ind. Now Crowner, who served as writer, videographer and editor for the 28-minute film, has earned his first regional Emmy.
The doc recounts the history of the bridge, from its original construction in the 1920s to its demolition and re-construction in 2014.
According to a Doe-Anderson news release, “The new half-mile bridge made history because it was built next to the original one and then slid 55 feet into place, making it the longest bridge slide in North America.”
“When the project was over, we knew we had incredible video footage. But we also had a great story to tell. The question was whether it was compelling enough for long-form television,” said Bob Lauder, management supervisor at Doe-Anderson and executive producer of the documentary. “We had a vision of what we wanted to do, so we asked Mark to turn it into a documentary. KET agreed to air it. Then we worked with Mark on the development of the show. It was his talent and dedication that turned it into an Emmy-winning piece.”
The film includes historic footage, impressive demolition videos and charming interviews with citizens of both towns — including a 100-year-old woman who was one of the “bridge princesses” in the parade at the bridge opening. –-Melissa Chipman
C2 Strategic Communications building new bigger digs in Lyndon
C2 is a growing marketing and PR firm that has worked for clients including the Ohio River Bridges Project, RiverLink and the bi-state tolling system. They also represent the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association, Omni Louisville and WellCare.
The Lyndon Centre Office Park will be located at the intersection of New LaGrange Road and Lyndon Lane. Seven, two-story buildings are planned with more than 40,000 square feet of office space.
John Miranda, who co-owns Pinnacle along with Christopher Knopf, said in a news release, “Lyndon Centre will help serve the growing need for affordable office space in an area that’s seen rapid expansion of large, premium-priced office developments.”
Pinnacle, the general contractor for the development, will be assisted by Louisville Paving and Construction (site contractor), Keyes Architects & Associates (building architect) and Mindel Scott & Associates (landscape architect/engineering firm). The building is expected to be ready by the end of the year. —Melissa Chipman
New hair salon celebrating opening with pop-up boutique
Tara Hall and Melissa Kuehner are marking the grand opening of their hair salon in style.
The pair of stylists co-own The Beauty Bar, which is opening its doors today, Aug. 12, in the newly renovated building at the corner of Pearl and Elm streets in New Albany. To celebrate, The Beauty Bar will be giving away free product samples to the first 50 people and host a pop-up LulaRoe boutique.
LulaRoe’s slogan is “Where fashion meets comfort,” and the brand sells women’s dresses, skirts and tops. It only makes 1,000 clothing items in any particular print.
In addition to Hall and Kuehner, four other stylists work at The Beauty Bar offering haircuts, hair coloring, facial waxing, deep conditioning and manicures/pedicures. The services provided depend on the stylist. Prices range from $15 and up for a haircut.
The salon is open every day, and hours of operation vary depending on the stylist. Schedule an appointment here.
The Beauty Bar is located in the same building Big Four Burgers owner Matt McMahan is expected to open CIDEways Cidery + Restaurant later this summer. Back in April, he told IL that the project is on schedule, and that still seems to be the case. —Caitlin Bowling