News and Tribune

Floyd County

October 18, 2007

Bistro New Albany closes

Bistro New Albany stayed in business through its first anniversary, a watershed date for any independent restaurant. But five months later, budget problems have prompted owner Dave Clancy to shut down and move on.

“This was a great restaurant,” Clancy said Wednesday as he packed equipment at the Bank and Market streets building, the New Albany Inn. “For me to not succeed down here does hurt.”

After a flier on the front door Monday proclaimed the restaurant was “closed for remodeling,” Clancy announced the permanent closure Tuesday at the louisvillehotbytes. com Internet forum. He referred to “financial circumstances beyond my control.”

Clancy and Dave Himmel were co-owners when Bistro New Albany opened in May 2006. Himmel sold his stake to Clancy and left in December, then in May he opened his own restaurant, Connor’s Place, on Main Street.

Building owner John Dowell could not be reached by telephone Wednesday to comment on whether any prospective new tenants have approached him. Himmel said Wednesday he plans to meet with Dowell within a week.

“It’s kind of up in the air right now,” Himmel said, “but the thought is being entertained.” He declined to reveal what type of establishment he was considering.

The Bank and Market area has produced other restaurants before. Clancy’s wife, Teresa, runs Treet’s Bakery and Cafe across Market Street, and the New Albany Inn previously contained The House of Bread.

“Whoever takes over this property will be successful as well, as long as they have the right tools,” Clancy said.

Clancy, meanwhile, said he is “looking at another opportunity with another restaurant,” an existing business in New Albany that he would not identify.

At least one restaurant would welcome Clancy into the fold.

“If Dave would have me, I would certainly have him; he’s a phenomenal chef,” said Brad Tharp, owner of the Speakeasy Jazz Club that sits two blocks west of the New Albany Inn. “I feel like it would be an unstoppable combination.”

Tharp opened Speakeasy in June and has viewed the bistro “as a barometer of the progress of downtown,” he said Wednesday night. “I’ve not been taking it well that they are closed. ... I was banking on both of our successes.”

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