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.

Salsarita’s adds drive-thru, launching mobile application

Salsarita’s franchisees Steve and Pam Stallings, left, pose with company CEO Phil Friedman and COO Ken Green. | Courtesy of Salsarita’s Fresh Mexican Grill

Grabbing food from Salsarita’s Fresh Mexican Grill in Middletown has gotten a little easier after franchisee owners Steve and Pam Stallings installed a new drive-thru window. The pair also is gearing up for a November debut of Salsarita’s first-ever mobile application, which will allow loyalty program members to track their rewards and place orders.

Pam Stallings told Insider Louisville that the Middletown Salsarita’s, located at 12915 Shelbyville Road, was the first of Salsarita’s more than 80 locations to retrofit an existing store to include a drive-thru.

“It has been challenging,” Stallings said, noting that when customers order food inside, they order a burrito, quesadilla or other dish and then customize it from there with meat, vegetables and other ingredients similar to Chipotle Mexican Grill and Qdoba. However, to keep traffic moving, the menu at the drive-thru includes dishes with a set list of ingredients, and customers must add or subtract ingredients to customize it.

In the first month of operation, Stalling said, the drive-thru “has just been taking off.”

Salsarita’s drive-thrus generate 22 percent of total restaurant sales, according to the company, and between the Middletown store and their other location in St. Matthews, the Stallingses operate Salsarita’s highest sales volume franchise.

“The drive-thru concept will enhance sales even further and make the dining experience more convenient for guests,” Phil Friedman, chief executive of Salsarita’s, said in a statement provided by corporate.

Stallings told Insider that the St. Matthews store, 285 N. Hubbards Lane, is not able to be retrofitted, so they are “actively looking for new locations” to move that store to. The couple would like to open a third Salsarita’s in Louisville, Stallings said, but the commercial real estate market is extremely competitive right now. —Caitlin Bowling

Britt Kulsveen promoted to president and chief whiskey officer of Bardstown’s Willett Distillery

Britt Kulsveen gives a toast. | Photo by Sara Havens

It was quite a press conference for 10 a.m. at a history museum. But it was also National Bourbon Day, and the Frazier History Museum is not your father’s museum.

On Thursday, Willett Distillery partnered with the Frazier to host a press conference/cocktail party to announce and celebrate the promotion of Kristin Martha-Britt Kulsveen — who most just call “Britt” — to the role of president and chief whiskey officer of the historic family-owned Bardstown distillery.

Kulsveen is the great-granddaughter of founder A. Lambert Willett and succeeds her mother, Martha Harriett Willett Kulsveen, as president. Kulsveen’s brother, Drew, serves as master distiller.

Did we mention it also was Kulsveen’s 39th birthday?

Cocktails were served, a cake was cut and female attendees were encouraged to “give a boot” to their high heels, as the spirited and personable Kulsveen is known for wearing cowboy boots to just about any and every function.

“This is a tremendous honor, and I’m incredibly thankful for the teachings and traditions that have been passed down from generations of strong Willett women, especially my mother, that have guided my personal and professional life,” said Kulsveen in a news release sent after the event.

During the announcement, Kulsveen offered a toast and thanked everyone for coming out to celebrate. The cocktail served was, fittingly enough, called The Britt and featured Willett’s Family Estate 4 Year Rye. —Sara Havens

Behavioral health facility offering big incentives to attract registered nurses

Our Lady of Peace | File Photo

Our Lady of Peace is on the hunt for registered nurses with an interest in mental health, psychiatry or chemical dependency nursing.

The Louisville hospital will host an RN Interview Day from 3 to 6 p.m. June 26 at its location at 2020 Newburg Road.

The facility, which is part of KentuckyOne Health, is looking to fill part-time and full-time positions in various units. It also has some weekend positions available.

KentuckyOne Health attributes the vacancies to various factors, including attrition and creation of new positions.

“We continue to experience a shortage of experienced nurses and are diligently working to attract and retain high-quality nursing professionals,” according to a statement from the health care provider. “Affording nurses the opportunity to attend this on-site RN Interview Day, visit our facility and meet with hiring managers on the spot helps to accelerate our hiring process for all involved.”

Candidates for the jobs may be new graduates, experienced psychiatric RNs, or RNs with other kinds of backgrounds.

New-hire incentives for eligible full-time positions include student loan payback of up to $24,000 or a signing bonus of up to $6,000. More information can be found here—Darla Carter

National craft beer taproom and restaurant coming to Southern Indiana

The chain will open a location in Jeffersonville this fall. | Courtesy of Growler USA

Growler USA, a craft beer-focused restaurant chain, is moving into the market.

The company announced plans to open a 2,500-square-foot to 3,000-square-foot location at 3010 Gottbrath Parkway, off State Highway 62 just north of Interstate 265. The restaurant and taproom, which will be locally operated by couple Greg and Laura Brown, will open sometime in early fall 2018, according to a news release.

On its website, Growler USA touts that it has 100 taps of craft beer, hard cider, draught wine and hand-crafted non-alcoholic beverages such as craft root beer and kombucha tea. All of the beverages are American made, according to the company. The menu includes pub snacks, burgers, salads and sandwiches.

Growler USA announced the new Jeffersonville location, along with two stores in Albuquerque, N.M.

“As the craft beer industry continues to flourish and innovate, Growler USA is seeing immense success and demand in new markets,” John Kutac, president of Growler USA, said in the release. “We’re excited to bring on these franchise partners to explore new territories and plan to continue on this path of national expansion.” —Caitlin Bowling

Patch Adams to promote compassion and health literacy

The Big Four Bridge | File Photo

The physician who inspired a 1998 film starring Robin Williams will be in Kentuckiana Friday, June 15, for a series of events promoting health literacy and compassion in health care.

Dr. Patch Adams, a social activist who clowns around in a red nose, will lead a march across the Big Four Bridge at 9:30 a.m., starting on the Jeffersonville side. The event is open to the public

Adams also will speak at a lunch and dinner Friday at the Omni Louisville Hotel in downtown Louisville. Both events require tickets and are $200 to $300 a seat.

The events are part of an effort by My Health E to advocate for more patient-focused health care. The company’s website lists information about health events as a way to empower patients.

“Dr. Adams just embodies that perspective of really thinking about the patient first,” said Coby Watier, a patient advocate who serves as My Health E’s national director.  “He travels around the world bringing smiles. He’s not your traditional health care CEO.” —Darla Carter

Leadership changes at 21st Century Parks 

The nonprofit that oversees The Parklands of Floyds Fork, 21st Century Parks, has hired new leaders and promoted others.

David Morgan will assume the role of president of 21st Century Parks on June 18 after previously serving as senior vice president of operations and administration, as well as assistant treasurer, at the nonprofit.

Other promotions include Mike Nielsen, who is now vice president of finance and operations; Curtis Carman, now director of education; Laura Morton, now 21st Century Parks’ development manager; and Anna Rosales-Crone, now manager of communications and marketing.

21st Century Parks also newly hired Sam Stewart to lead development and communications as director of Parklands fund events and external relations. Stewart was previously director of events and programming at the Frazier History Museum and facility and programs director at The Parklands of Floyds Fork. —Caitlin Bowling

In Brief

Chamber of commerce Greater Louisville Inc.’s capital campaign, Greater Louisville 2020, surpassed $3 million in cash and pledges toward its $7.5 million goal in late May. The money will fund initiatives around business recruitment, workforce recruitment and development, and addressing the larger business environment in the region.

Dr. Bahaaldin Alsoufi has joined the University of Louisville and Norton Children’s Hospital as the new chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery. Alsoufi, who’s part of UofL’s Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery and UofL Physicians — Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, formerly worked for Emory University.

Elizabeth Caywood was recently appointed to the role of acting commissioner for the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services, which oversees foster care and food stamps, among other things. Caywood has 19 years of experience in the department and is replacing Adria Johnson; the state gave no reason for Johnson’s departure.


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