JEFFERSONVILLE — Fear not, fans of Parlour's outdoor vibes and artisanal pizza.
The business isn't going anywhere after news broke Wednesday that the popular restaurant is under new ownership. In fact, plans are in the works to expand in several areas, including covered seating, pizza oven capacity and culinary offerings.
The new owners of Parlour, which Doers Investment Group opened in April 2017 and quickly became a hot spot with its outdoor beer garden at the foot of Big Four Bridge, are staying secret for now. But new general manager Tony Revak, the former bar manager who has been with Parlour since the beginning, promised changes are in the pipeline.
For starters, the new owners will add more pizza ovens (possibly as many as three) to complement the $100,000 showpiece oven. The original oven, imported from Italy, can handle only seven pies at a time, causing lengthy waits when Parlour is humming. The new ovens will crank out almost four times as many pizzas, slicing wait times in half, according to Revak.
The kitchen, squeezed into a sun room in the circa-1836 house, has struggled to keep up with demand, so it is set for an expansion. More servers will be hired, too.
"They're doing five times the business they'd thought they'd do," said Revak, adding that business at Parlour is up more than 30 percent over last year. "It's the equipment that's been holding them back."
Fryers and grills will be added, too, which will result in a new menu with expanded offerings other than the pizza, salads and subs that have been Parlour mainstays.
"We'll have a lot more variety," Revak said. "We' don't have much variety now."
Business at Parlour can also take a hit when the weather turns sour. Which is why plans are in the works to build an enclosed bar with indoor seating and bathrooms in two phases at the back wall in the space between the main building (house) and the garage bar The first phase is expected to be complete in the next 30 to 60 days, and the second by late fall, according to Revak.
The additions will not only allow for more seating but more business, especially during bad weather and in the winter.
"When 70 percent of your sales are outside, when it rains you lose all that," Revak said. "If it rains we'll gain 70 seats that aren't getting rained on and in the winter when you lose all that, you won't lose that anymore. Now we'll be able to seat a lot more people."
The restaurant will also undergo some aesthetic changes, according to Revak, including new paint and updated flooring.
Even without the additions, people from all over have flocked to Parlour, including the Atchison family from Louisville, who noshed on pizza on a bright Thursday afternoon after venturing across the Big Four Bridge.
"It's something to do," said Andy Atchison, who was joined by his wife, Libby, and their two children and two nieces, as well as Andy's mom. "We like to eat here. It's a nice little spot."
The outdoor space at Parlour allows the kids to roam and "gives them something to do," Libby said.
Parlour posted the following note on its Facebook page Wednesday:
"It's with bittersweet feelings that we announce that our current ownership and management team are moving on from Parlour effective August 1st.
We thoughtfully designed a food and beverage venue that can continue to represent the city of Jeffersonville and serve the residents for many years to come.
The new owners have exciting plans for Parlour and we wish them the best of luck!"
Revak would not reveal the new owners, only that it's a local entrepreneur and his partner, but that they would be going public soon.
During the transition, some things are sure to stay the same, including people-watching, pizza and a broad selection of beer.
"Everybody says it's like a backyard party. It's like gong to a friend's house, just hanging out," Revak said of Parlour's appeal. "Outside is casual. And it's the perfect location for us, coming off the bridge."