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.
Plans for new Indian restaurant move forward
Way back in February, Insider reported that local entrepreneur Purna Veer, founder of IT staffing firm V-Soft Consulting, planned to branch out into an entirely different industry: restaurants.
At the time, Michael Ross, a spokesman for Veer, said they hoped to open a fine dining Indian restaurant called Tandoori Fusion in June, but little has been heard about the project since. However, this week, documents were filed with Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government asking for a conditional-use permit to allow the restaurant to install an awning over its outdoor seating area.
The documents reveal that Veer has signed a lease for a nearly 7,000-square-foot space, at 4600 Chamberlain Lane, in the Chamberlain Pointe shopping center. The site formerly housed a ZEGGZ Amazing Eggs, which closed in late June amid some rebranding of the local brunch spot.
The restaurant is expected to be able to seat 80 to 100 people inside and roughly 30 outside, the documents state. The awning will help protect diners from inclement weather and, with the use of heaters, allow the patio to stay open longer.
As for the food, Tandoori Fusion will use import Indian spices, a tandoor oven for cooking and source other ingredients from regional farms, according to the documents.
“The restaurant will feature many classical Indian dishes, but the menu will include influences from other cultures to provide a true fusion experience unlike any other Indian restaurant in this area,” the documents state. “The restaurant also will offer special and unusual appetizers, some of which are based upon traditional Indian street food.”
AT&T expands gigabit service in Louisville
AT&T said its gigabit service now is available to more than 80,000 households and businesses in Louisville, up 30,000 from its last estimate from about a month ago.
While the company doesn’t share coverage maps for competitive reasons, it has previously told Insider that the service is available in neighborhoods from Algonquin and Chickasaw to the Highlands.
AT&T Kentucky President Hood Harris said in a press release that the company is expanding the service because customers increasingly are engaging in data-intensive activities, from streaming movies on mobile devices to video chatting with friends and family.
The company has previously told Insider that it invested nearly $250 million between 2014 and 2016 to deploy its fiber network in Louisville. The service, which is called AT&T Internet 1000 and provides download speeds of 1,000 Mbps, costs $80, but bundling can lower the price.
The high-speed connection allows consumers to download 25 songs in one second or a 90-minute high-definition movie in 34 seconds, AT&T said.
The company said it is offering the service to 5.5 million customers in 57 metro areas and expects to reach 12.5 million customers by mid-2019.
Some local loaders have said that broadband service, especially from AT&T rival Google Fiber, comes with significant advantages, including economic development and better data infrastructure for government agencies, businesses, nonprofits and residents.
For example, greater bandwidth allows businesses to transfer data much more quickly, and residential customers can engage in multiple bandwidth-heavy activities — Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube — without buffering issues.
Google has been reluctant to share when its service will be available. A company spokesman told Insider this week the company “remains committed to Louisville and is continuing the design and construction of its fiber network.”
According to the Federal Communications Commission, Louisville’s network is much better than the national average. Essentially all households in the area had access to download speeds of at least 50 Mbps by summer 2014. —Boris Ladwig
El Toro lands second patent for IP tagging tech
Louisville’s El Toro has further strengthened its role in the AdTech industry by securing a second patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for IP tagging.
“El Toro is an innovator and creator of original technologies in the AdTech marketplace,” said CEO Stacy Griggs in a news release. “As an innovator, we are very happy that the USPTO has recognized our novel and unparalleled approach to mapping IP addresses to physical locations.”
Patent “No. 9,742,727 – Determining and Utilizing One or More Attributes of IP Addresses” now joins “No. 9,515,984B1 – Determining and Utilizing One or More Attributes of IP Addresses” as the two patents owned by El Toro.
The company also has five patents pending.
According to the news release, El Toro is the “leader in one-to-one IP targeting of homes, businesses and venues.”
David Stadler, co-founder of El Toro, said, “We have proven to our clients and partners that IP addresses are a much more accurate method of targeting digital ads than cookies or other legacy AdTech tools. With superior targeting and enhanced attribution measurement, we have the best toolset for targeting digital ads to homes, businesses and venues.” –Melissa Chipman
Red Herring adds lunch menu
Lunch is now being served at Red Herring Cocktail Lounge & Kitchen on Frankfort Avenue.
From 11 a.m.-2 p.m., the cocktail bar and restaurant will offer customers dishes such as pimento beer cheese fries, antipasto salad, ricotta toast, a patty melt and a seasonal flatbread, according to a news release. Prices range from $6 to $11.
Red Herring also is adding house-made sodas including cola, lemon-lime, melon and ginger ale for $2, and a few floats and milkshakes for $4, the release states.
Just about a month ago, Red Herring started selling breakfast items, including pastries, coffee drinks, breakfast sandwiches and breakfast cocktails. The establishment opened only five months ago, but co-owner Brett Davis said previously that breakfast and lunch service were always part of the plan.
Pizza and alcohol delivery business slated to open next week
District 22, the latest concept from Big Four Burgers + Beer owner Matt McMahan, will start dropping pizza, beer, wine and liquor on customers’ doorsteps next week, according to posts on social media.
McMahan told Insider that District 22 already has eight employees. However, the business is still looking for more cooks, cashiers and drivers.
To start, delivery will be available only within a couple mile radius of District 22’s storefront, 110 E. Main St. in New Albany, he said.
Insider previously reported that McMahan had secured a 210 liquor license in Indiana that will permit him to deliver more than pizza.
Property tax rate declining for third year in a row
Prepare for the windfall. This year, the real property tax rate countywide will drop one-tenth of a cent.
The rate declined from 12.45 cents per $100 assessed value to 12.35 cents, which amounts to $1 of savings per every $100,000 of assessed property value, excluding exemptions and credits.
Notably, those who live in the Urban Service District, which includes the majority of properties located inside Interstate 264 and several other areas including Hikes Point, Beechmont and Iroquois, will continue to pay 35.38 cents per $100 assessed value, according to a property tax ordinance filed with Louisville Metro Council this week.
“Continued growth in our local economy and a strong real estate market are drivers of the downward movement in our property tax rates,” said Louisville’s CFO Daniel Frockt in a news release.
Real property tax revenue accounts for about one-fourth of the city’s budget.
Last year, Insider explained why the tax rate was declining and why it doesn’t matter who’s in city hall. —Caitlin Bowling
Scoppechio names third annual “Rise Above” scholarship winner
Kathryn Tilton, a first-year University of Louisville MBA student, has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship that was established to encourage women in the field of businesses and marketing.
Tilton studies marketing, art and psychology.
“I am incredibly humbled and thankful to be the recipient of the Scoppechio Rise Above scholarship. The fact that it was named in honor of a woman who chartered a very successful business course here in Louisville is particularly motivating to me, and I will do my best to honor it every day,” said Tilton.
Toni Clem, president of Scoppechio, said in a press release, “This is the third year the Rise Above scholarship has been awarded to a top female business student at the University of Louisville who has demonstrated an affinity for marketing and an understanding of the business world.”
In brief …
• A Mediterranean restaurant on Grinstead Drive near Baxter Avenue quietly closed in late July. The website and Facebook page for ZÄD Modern Mediterranean state that the restaurant is closed and encourages people to visit its sister restaurant, The Grape Leaf, on Frankfort Avenue.