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.
Popular New Albany boutique opening Louisville pop-up shop
Clothing boutique Dress & Dwell is hopping across the river for Derby season.
The popular New Albany shop will tempt Louisvillians with its spring and Derby outfits when it opens a pop-up store at 2509 Grinstead Drive, the former Parkside Bikes store near the intersection of Lexington and Grinstead Drive. Dress & Dwell’s first day of operation in Louisville is March 20.
The pop-up shop will remain open through Derby on May 5, though a spokesperson for the boutique noted Dress & Dwell owner Amanda Mulvene will consider looking for a permanent Louisville location after seeing the response to the pop-up store.
“Derby is our busiest time of year, and we always have customers asking us to open up a Louisville location. I’ve played around with the idea of a second store in the past, but never could find the perfect space,” Mulvene said in a news release. “When this opportunity opened up during our favorite season, we knew we had to jump on it.”
The shop will features Derby dresses, spring fashion, party supplies, home goods and gifts. Stocked brands include Headcandi Hats & Fascinators, Cindy Borders Jewelry, Cellar Door Chocolates, Bauble Bar, Bourbon and Bowties, Lisi Lerch Jewelry and David Aubrey Jewelry, according to the release.
The boutique will celebrate the grand opening party with champagne all day on Saturday, March 24. Steel City Pops will sell popsicle from noon to 2 p.m., with the first 75 customers getting free popsicles.
El Toro offers money-back guarantee on turnout for political campaigns
El Toro, the Louisville-based digital advertising tech company, is so confident in its ability to turn out targeted voters in elections for clients that it is now offering political and issue campaigns a money-back guarantee if they don’t deliver as advertised.
In a news release, El Toro touted its ability to match physical addresses to IP addresses, thus allowing their clients to targets voters on their electronic devices at home. Such a tactic allows clients to reach a target audience at a price that is a fraction of traditional television advertising, suggesting that this new technology is “the silver bullet to actually kill this campaign dinosaur.”
The release cites an El Toro effort for a client to turn out voters for a ballot initiative in Ohio, stating that it was able to deliver 2.2 million display and video advertisements during four weeks to a target group, whose turnout rate on election day proved to be 25 percent higher than a control group that wasn’t targeted.
“So confident is El Toro about delivering similar results for other political and issue campaigns, they are offering a money-back guarantee for any GOTV campaign of over $100,000,” stated the release. “If El Toro doesn’t increase turnout among targeted voters by at least 5%, they’ll give 50 percent of the total spend back to the campaign.”
University of Louisville political science professor Jason Gainous praised the El Toro’s targeting ability in the release, stating that “delivering messages to voters with such razor-sharp precision and effectiveness has never been easier. El Toro might have possibly cracked the code.” —Joe Sonka
Jeffersonville and New Albany nominated in America’s Main Streets contest, voting open
Jeffersonville and New Albany are two of 90 small-town cities nominated in the national America’s Main Streets contest, where the winning city could get $25,000 toward economic development. Voting is now open through April 22.
According to the website, the goal of the contest is to “promote the importance and strong economic benefits of these Main Streets and the small businesses that help them thrive.” The winning city’s revitalization organization will receive $25,000 in cash and related prizes.
If you’re curious if there are other local main streets nominated, there are indeed several more from Kentucky and Southern Indiana. They include Madison, Ind., Vevay, Ind., Maysville, Ky., Perryville, Ky., and Danville, Ky.
Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries eclipse Doritos Locos Tacos
For years, fast-food restaurants have strived to create their own Doritos Locos Tacos, a phenomenon that made a struggling Taco Bell popular once again and helped transform its image into a cool brand.
Nothing else had come close, until now. According to the numbers, Taco Bell seems to have struck gold twice. This time with its Nacho Fries, seasoned fries served with nacho cheese dipping sauce.
Nation’s Restaurant News reported that Taco Bell sold 53 million orders of Nacho Fries in five weeks and is on pace to beat the Doritos Locos Tacos, which sold 100 million orders in 10 weeks.
“We’re seeing fries in one out of every three orders, compared to one out of every four for DLT,” Taco Bell spokesman Matt Prince told Nation’s Restaurant News.
Salon opening second location next week
Clique Boutique, which has operated on Frankfort Avenue for more than a decade, is expanding with a second location in Holiday Manor.
The beauty salon’s new store opens Monday, March 19, at 2214 Holiday Manor Center, according to a news release, and will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The business offers services including facials, skin peels, waxing, microblading, eyelash extensions, dermaplaning and organic airbrush tanning.
Clique Boutique has hired five new beauty service employees. The square-foot store will feature eight personal beauty treatment rooms, including two rooms dedicated to airbrush tanning.
“It was important that the new space be modern and have amenities that our clients have come to expect. But, above all, we wanted it to feel comfortable,” Janna Flowers, owner of Clique Boutique, said in the release.
The salon will host a grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, April 13.
Jim Beam fills 15 millionth barrel, Buffalo Trace approaches 7 million
Need more proof that bourbon is booming? On Monday, March 12, Jim Beam filled its 15 millionth barrel since the end of Prohibition at a special ceremony held at the Clermont distillery. Although it took several decades to get to a million, it only took the world’s largest bourbon brand two years between 14 million and 15 million.
“Fifteen million is a big number, but we’re a big bourbon,” said master distiller Fred Noe at the ceremony. “When Jim Beam, my great grandfather, filled his first barrel of whiskey at our Clermont distillery after Prohibition, I doubt he would have predicted that one day we would be a brand known and enjoyed the world over.”
Noe personally filled the barrel with his son, Freddie Noe, who works right alongside his father and who just last year released his first flagship brand, Little Book.
Also approaching a milestone fill is Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, which will fill its 7 millionth barrel at a special ceremony planned in April.
To put this in context, we are quickly approaching numbers similar to bourbon’s heyday in the 1960s. According to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, last year Kentucky distilleries filled 1,886,821 barrels of bourbon; the all-time record came in 1967 at 1,922,009 barrels.
With a handful of new distilleries set to open this year and others ramping up production, we suspect that record will be broken very soon. Also, there are now 1.5 barrels of bourbon for every resident in Kentucky, so it’s probably best to stay put when the apocalypse comes. —Sara Havens
Passport breaks ground on headquarters
Passport Health Plan on Wednesday broke ground on its new Health and Well-Being Campus at West Broadway and 18th Street.
The new headquarters of Passport, a nonprofit that administers Medicaid benefits in Kentucky, will include a four-story, 337,000-square-foot building with three connected structures along Broadway that will house the 550 current employees and provide room for growth. The nonprofit hopes to occupy the building by early 2020.
Passport and community leaders have said that they hope the project would draw more commerce, jobs and pride to an impoverished neighborhood.
UPS broke ground Thursday on a 28,000-square-foot-plus flight simulation center in Louisville.
The facility will house three new full-motion flight simulators with “150-degree external views, realistic sounds and special motion and visual effects,” the company told Insider via email.
Completion of construction is expected in 2018. The logistics giant said it is making the investments to increase capacity. —Boris Ladwig
Louisville City FC has a new team sponsor, and it’s guaranteed to make the fun and festive soccer matches just a tad bit funner. Heaven Hill Brands’ Lunazul Tequila has stepped up to be the Official Team Sponsor for the 2018-19 season. Fans will be able to find River City Ritas and other Lunazul-featured drinks at bars throughout Louisville Slugger Field during home games.
Louisville-based online retailer CafePress is seeking models for a new marketing and advertising campaign. Candidates must send contact information, a head shot and a full body shot in casual clothing to [email protected] no later than March 30.
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board has designated Sullivan University’s College of Pharmacy a PTCB-recognized Sterile Compounding Training/Education Program. The university said that the designation will allow graduates to become compounded sterile products technicians two years faster.