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.

80/20 @ Kaelin’s sets open date

This coming Thursday, 80/20 @ Kaelin’s will open, bringing a restaurant back to the storied building at 1801 Newburg Road for the first time since Mulligan’s Pub and Grille suddenly closed in late 2014.

80/20 @ Kaelin’s will open for business at 5 p.m. on June 7, serving up burgers, fried chicken and other entrees ranging from $12 to $25. “We are not reinventing the wheel,” the owners said in a Facebook post.

The owners previously told Insider that they want 80/20 @ Kaelin’s to be a family-friendly neighborhood hangout.

The building was for many years before that home to Kaelin’s restaurant, whose owners laid claim to being the inventors of the cheeseburger. It sat vacant once Mulligan’s shuttered but was purchased by real estate investor Jesse Flynn for $657,734 in 2016.

More than $1 million was invested in the building to bring it up to snuff. —Caitlin Bowling

Amazon to hold hiring event Friday in Jeffersonville

In response to customer demand, Amazon announced that it was hiring over 1,000 new, full-time, permanent workers for its fulfillment operations in Louisville and Shepherdsville and Jeffersonville, Ind.

The company is holding a hiring party from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday at its Jeffersonville location, 900 Patrol Road. The event promises free food, entertainment and giveaways.

According to Amazon, part-time roles are also available. Candidates can apply online at www.amazon.com/louisvillejobs as well.

A spokeswoman said wages vary depending on the post and experience, but that “on average, Amazon fulfillment jobs pay 30 percent more than a traditional retail job — and that’s before our comprehensive benefits package with full health care, performance-based bonuses, 401(k), stock options, up to 20 weeks of maternal and parental paid leave, etc.”

The new employees will join over 125,000 regular, full-time employees at Amazon’s more than 100 fulfillment centers across North America to help pick, pack and ship customer orders, Amazon said. —Mickey Meece

Kentucky Derby Museum gets $1 million grant from James Graham Brown Foundation

A look at the expansion and renovation | Renderings by Hubbuch & Co.

While renovation and expansion currently is underway at the Kentucky Derby Museum, a recent $1 million grant by the James Graham Brown Foundation for the project will help ensure things get done the right way.

In fact, it’s the largest single contribution to date for the $6.5 million expansion project.

The Derby Museum has received funds from the foundation in the past, as well, working closely with the organization since its founding in 1985.

“The Kentucky Derby Museum has been very fortunate to have had the support of the James Graham Brown Foundation for its entire 32 year history,” said Derby Museum President and CEO Patrick Armstrong in a news release. “We are honored by this substantial gift from our longtime partner.”

The renovation will add more than 11,000 square feet to the museum and also fix up another 5,000 square feet of current space. It marks the largest expansion in its history.

“The James Graham Brown Foundation is proud of the legacy the museum has created in the celebration of our Kentucky Derby. Mr. Brown cared deeply for the institution, and the board is pleased to continue the partnership with the Kentucky Derby Museum to improve the visitor experience and the national prominence of Louisville and our state,” said Mason Rummel, president and CEO of the foundation, in the release.

The museum will remain open while these renovations are taking place, and construction should be completed in late October in time for the Breeders’ Cup, which will be held at Churchill Downs. —Sara Havens

UofL graduates receive Fulbrights, other prestigious scholarships

Over 20 University of Louisville graduates won competitive international awards this year, the school announced Thursday.

Of the 21 recipients, 10 of them won a Fulbright scholarship to conduct research or teach in other countries. The group brings UofL’s total number of Fulbrights since 2003 to 120 — more than all of Kentucky’s public institutions combined. 

An additional 11 graduates won other international scholarships, mainly to study critical languages. 

“The Fulbright will allow me to spend nine months in Romania, thus enabling me to develop greater perspective of myself as a university instructor, a study abroad adviser, and a global citizen,” Fulbright recipient Kimber Guinn said in her scholar profile. 

The Fulbright scholars are:

  • Christian Bush, a political science, history and Asian studies major from Louisville who will teach in Macau.
  • Robert Gassman, a political science, history and Asian studies major from Louisville who will teach in Taiwan.
  • Kimber Guinn, a 2016 graduate from Somerset who will teach in Romania.
  • Kyle Hilbrecht, a political science major from Louisville who will teach in Laos.
  • Emma Jacobs, a biology and Spanish major from Edgewood who will teach in Spain.
  • Katie Maurer, a Spanish and education major from Fort Mitchell who will teach in Spain.
  • James Miller, an English and Spanish major from Louisville who will teach in Spain.
  • Lee Sims, a bioengineering major from Harrodsburg who will conduct research in the United Kingdom.
  • Karen Udoh, a biology major from Louisville who will conduct research in Greece.
  • Adam Vest, a computer engineering/computer science major from Louisville who will conduct research in Canada. 

“These prestigious awards are a perfect example of how our campus community puts students first,” UofL President Neeli Bendapudi said. “If you read the webpage profiles on these award-winning scholars, you will see many examples of how our faculty, staff and administrators have inspired and mentored students on their academic journey.”

All 21 award winners are from Kentucky, with nine hailing from Louisville, according to the release. —Olivia Krauth

State department of education general counsel resigns

Weeks before JCPS and the Kentucky Department of Education are expected to challenge each other over a recommended takeover, the KDE’s general counsel resigned.

Kevin Brown, who had been with KDE since 2004, submitted his resignation May 29 — the same day that the Jefferson County Board of Education unanimously voted to challenge interim education Commissioner Wayne Lewis’ recommendation that the state take over its largest district. His last day in office was May 30, per his resignation letter.

As general counsel, Brown would have played a large role in arguing KDE’s case to the state board of education, which will have the final vote over the takeover.

Brown’s resignation letter does not state why he resigned or touch on anything other than when his resignation will be effective.

One KBE member, Gary Houchens, tweeted about Brown’s resignation, calling it a “tremendous loss for KDE/KBE.” Lewis, the interim commissioner who made the takeover recommendation, and the former Commissioner Stephen Pruitt both liked the tweet. KBE vice chair Rich Gimmel retweeted it. Olivia Krauth

Bevin still won’t say if he’s running for another term

Gov. Matt Bevin speaking to reporters on Wednesday | Photo by Joe Sonka

At a news conference Wednesday morning, Gov. Matt Bevin twice declined to tell reporters if he would run for reelection next year, adding to speculation that he is considering bowing out after just one term in office.

Asked when he would announce whether or not he was running, Bevin dryly replied “sometime before January of next year.” The deadline for gubernatorial candidates to file for office in 2019 is Jan. 29.

Speculation on Bevin’s political future ramped up after last week’s primary elections, when three Republican incumbents in the state House were defeated by their primary opponents, including House Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Shell.

Despite his campaign raising $130,000, Shell lost to a poorly funded high school math teacher who ran against the incumbent’s support of the public pension bill that passed in this year’s legislative session, which was backed heavily by the governor.

Asked about the defeat of these incumbents, Bevin said that a Democratic House incumbent also lost his primary last week, and that “this is the nature of politics … it’s not predetermined that people get to keep their seats.” —Joe Sonka

Louisville CVB celebrates Pride Month with a rainbow logo

Louisville CVB’s new T-shirt for June celebrates LGBTQ Pride. | Courtesy of CVB

Since June is Pride Month here in Louisville and around the country, the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is adding a splash of color to its logo and offering limited-edition T-shirts as well.

The logo includes a fleur-de-lis, which sits in the middle of “Louisville,” that now displays six colors of rainbow — a common symbol of LGBTQ pride and acceptance.

“Louisville has a long history of being an accepting and inclusive city,” said Karen Williams, president and CEO of the CVB, in a news release. “This initiative is just another opportunity to show visitors our Southern hospitality and that we are a welcoming destination to everyone.”

According to the release, the city also has received national recognition as being an LGBTQ-friendly destination, including being named “One of the 10 Hottest Gay Destinations” by Orbitz and “One of 6 Underrated Cities for LGBT Travelers” by Condé Nast Traveler.

Louisville also received a perfect score of 100 for the past three years on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.

“Louisville is a city of compassion, a city that believes in fairness and equality,” said Mayor Greg Fischer in the release. “It’s great to see the CVB proudly promoting those values with this great new logo and T-shirt. Can’t wait to get mine!”

The T-shirts are $18 and will be for sale at the Louisville Visitor Center, 301 S. Fourth St., and at the 18th annual Kentuckiana Pride Festival held June 15-16 at the Big Four Lawn. —Sara Havens

 



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