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August 17, 2013

A SEAT AT THE TABLE: Restaurants ready to capitalize on Big Four Bridge’s impending opening



Another building that is getting a rehab and hoping to capitalize on the view of the Ohio River and downtown Louisville is the Olive Leaf Bistro.

The soon-to-be Mediterranean restaurant that will locate in the 2,800-square-foot former Brad Sprigler Designs Building, at 130 Riverside Drive, is undergoing renovations.

“We just got the release approved from the state to do the work a few days ago,” said Jimmy Shraby, owner of Olive Leaf Bistro.

Shraby, from New Jersey, said he has been looking for a location in Southern Indiana for a while. He said he has cousins that live in the area and they were helping him look for spots in New Albany. But when the Jeffersonville riverfront spot was a discovered, the restaurant had its place.

“I think it’s one of the best locations in Southern Indiana,” he said.

Along with the large windows that surround the building, Shraby said the plan is to have a substantial amount of outdoor seating, with between 30 to 40 seats.

He said the restaurant would look to capitalize on the river view and the short distance to Louisville.

“The Big Four Bridge is a big plus,” Shraby said.

Shraby said he also hopes to open in October or late fall.


A business that has already hosted a ribbon-cutting at Chestnut and Spring streets has been delayed in its plans to open in downtown Jeffersonville.

“We’re just playing the waiting game right now,” said Paul Ronau, owner of Red Yeti Brewing Co.

He said the brewpub is waiting on the state to approve its plans for renovations. Once that occurs, he said they would be able to pull the permits to get the major renovations underway inside the building.

The plan for the historic building is to convert the 3,000-square-foot space into a bar and brewery on one side and a dining room and kitchen on the other.

But the beer may have to wait.

Ronau said he has to wait until the construction plans are approved to apply for a liquor license, which could take about four months, and it could take anywhere from six months to a year to get federal approvals for an on-site brewery.

“We’re ready to start moving,” he said. “The brewery will be last once everything is in.”

But again, the target date for the restaurant should coincide with eh opening of the Indiana ramp to the Big Four Bridge — which is set for November.

“By the time the bridge opens up we should be at least serving food, hopefully, with some luck [beer],” Ronau said.

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