The Vernon Club & Lanes building was constructed in 1876. | Courtesy of Atlas Properties
The Vernon Club & Lanes building was constructed in 1876. | Courtesy of Atlas Properties

The new owner of Vernon Club & Lanes is keeping the details around the renovations and future plans of the 140-year-old historic building close to chest.

Atlas Properties bought the property at 1575 Story Ave. for $775,000 on June 8 from former owner Robert Dale McCall, according to Jefferson County property records. Atlas Properties is a subsidiary of Louisville-based investment capital firm LEVO Capital, which Weston Marcum owns.

“I always kept an eye on it before,” Marcum told Insider Louisville. “I just love the historic nature of the property, and Butchertown is an up-and-coming neighborhood.”

The 15,000-square-foot building was previously under contract, but negotiations fell through at a time that was “a lot better” for Marcum to come in and buy it.

Vernon Club is now closed for renovations and will reopen as a bowling lane sometime this fall, pending no major surprises during construction. Marcum declined to say what the estimated cost of the renovations will be.

“I’ll try to keep the vintage design of the building and draw on the history of the neighborhood,” Marcum said. “It will be trying to get it back to the aesthetic and vintage feel it once had.”

He hired Louisville-based design firm Mindsalt to help with the redesign. LEVO Capital also used Mindsalt during the revamp of the cafe Atlantic No. 5 and the Whitestone building downtown.

Longtime bowling lane manager Scottie Lawler will stay on as manager at Vernon Club.

“Everybody knows him when they go to Vernon Lanes,” Marcum said. And “he’s a wealth of knowledge.”

During the interview with IL, Marcum hinted that more is on the horizon for Vernon Club than a simple remodel. The project will include more than a bowling lane, but Marcum would not say what type of development he had in mind, be it retail, offices or something else entirely.

Marcum said he will reveal more details about his future plans for Vernon Club and about the specifics of the renovations as construction moves forward. He is still trying to grasp the scope of the work needed and understand how his vision for the property melds with the needs of the neighborhood, he said.

“It’s a big draw for people in the surrounding area. I really want to make sure the final project I come up with is in line with the needs and wants of the community,” Marcum said.

He plans to meet with representatives of the Butchertown Neighborhood Association and other stakeholders to talk about his plans in the future, but for now, he is zeroed in on simply reviving the original architecture of the property.

“The building needs to be brought back to life.”

Louisville native Caitlin Bowling has covered the local restaurant and retail scene since 2014. After graduating from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Caitlin got her start at a newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina where she won multiple state awards for her reporting. Since returning to Louisville, she’s written for Business First and Insider Louisville, winning awards for health and business reporting and becoming a go-to source for business news. In addition to restaurants and retail business, Caitlin covers real estate, economic development and tourism. Email Caitlin at [email protected]


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