The former South Side Inn building
The former South Side Inn building, which more recently was home to Big Four Burgers + Beer and Cox’s Hot Chicken, will reopen as Boomtown Kitchen in mid-June. | Photo by Kevin Gibson

Downtown New Albany is about to get another new restaurant. Boomtown Kitchen becomes the third concept to take over at the former home of the South Side Inn on Main Street within seven months.

The restaurant will be a two-in-one, much like Cox’s Hot Chicken and Big Four Burgers + Beer, with a large space dedicated to sit-down dining and a smaller adjacent space that will open as Boomtown Creamery, an ice cream and coffee bar. Cox’s first used the smaller space to focus on carry-out and delivery, while Big Four operated a carry-out and delivery pizza business in that spot.

Big Four closed last November, with Cox’s opening in January.

Boomtown Owner Andrew Collins, who owns the restaurant along with his wife Michelle, says a target open date is Father’s Day weekend, although the ice cream shop may open a bit later. The couple also owns The Barrelhouse on Market in Jeffersonville.

Cox’s abruptly closed last week (although a Jeffersonville location remains open), with Collins taking over shortly afterward and posting a sign on the door saying, “Exciting news … coming soon.” There’s a reason he didn’t put a closed sign on the door.

South Side Inn sign
The sign that for decades hung outside the South Side Inn at 114 E. Main St. in New Albany will remain as part of the interior decor of Boomtown Kitchen. | Photo by Kevin Gibson

“It’s not closing, in my opinion,” Collins tells Insider. “It’s evolving.”

Whereas Cox’s Hot Chicken primarily was a sports bar, Collins says Boomtown will be more of a classic American restaurant.

The cluttered front room in the restaurant, he says, will be radically different and more open. The basic integrity of the restaurant’s layout will remain, but the décor will be different, with more of a modern, family-friendly atmosphere.

However, an original South Side Inn sign that has adorned the main dining room since Big Four Burgers opened will remain, according to Collins.

“I feel like it would be a sin to get rid of that,” he says. “That is such a historic site, and that’s one of the main reasons I was interested. I remember as a kid going to South Side Inn, and there would be an Amish person standing outside with a basket, selling flowers.”

Collins says going to South Side for family meals remains a fond memory for him, adding, “I’m honored to carry that on.”

As for the menu, he says while he appreciates the modern cuisine in downtown New Albany, Boomtown Kitchen will be different; he says while many modern restaurants offer their spins on classic dishes, at Boomtown, “We want to bring you that classic dish.”

He says there will be several burgers available, plus a wild game option, along with a steak dinner with two sides that “doesn’t break the bank.” Good food, good service and affordable price points will be the focus, he says.

He also points out that the restaurant, which is more than 6,000 square feet, is located directly next to a YMCA, and that there will be health-conscious dishes on the menu as well.

“Our vision and, what we feel like New Albany is missing, is sweet simplicity,” Collins says. “I love the cuisine in New Albany. I love the creativity that is booming there. We want to focus on service and building a relationship with the community.”

Boomtown Kitchen will be located at 110 E. Main St.

Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson tackles the 3Rs — retail, restaurants, real estate — plus, economic development. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono. Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die.” He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies.Email Kevin at [email protected]