Adam C wrote:Whoa! I hope they don't completely destroy that bar. From what I remember it was a nice, vintage "Louisville bar" as I call them.
Jeremy J wrote:How in the hell have I NEVER heard of this place!!!???
Amy Hoover wrote:I like to think of Coach Lamp as one of our well kept secrets.
"Restaurant Impossible" & "Mystery Diners" are the only nonfiction shows I watch on a regular basis outside NFL season. I was explaining to my wife about "RI today. Chef Robert Irvine typically finds the following problems to be in the mix to a greater or lesser degree, and I am not saying these are all in play at CL, just explaining to those unfamiliar with how the show has played out over the years:
1) Operators aren't good at math, simple 'duh' materials+labor+overhead+proper markup.
2) Operators don't work well with each other &/or manage staff effectively.
3) Operators don't stock quality ingredients with people who know how to cook well enough to please enough people.
4) The facility is lackluster or so off the beaten path it goes unnoticed by general traffic.
5) Not enough people know there's a business in operation due to inadequate marketing efforts.
6) A clientele of mostly older people with no 'next gen' to keep them in business as their patrons gradually spend less & then go to the cemetery or nursing home. This is often related to 4 being a place so dull only old people go there because that place was called "X" back during the war when we couldn't get onions and we had gas rationing and, boy, remember...
Adam, I PRAY they don't trash the bar as Chef R. does love wielding a sledgehammer so much!
Jeremy / Amy - one of the problems that "RI" finds in marketing is that sometimes restaurants can 'best kept secret' themselves into asphixia. The fact a seriously respected (by me anyway) foodie like Jeremy had no clue this place exists screams that they are 'best kept secreting' themselves out of business.
The place is low lit inside and when that is found on "RI" is pretty much the first thing that is seized on to fix on the show. That would be welcome to me as I hate squinting at a menu in low light. Folks who work there may have the eyes of a cat but I had to use a pocket flashlight. BRIGHTEN IT UP ALREADY!
My wife's comments were that the food is really good, but overpriced for that location. I said I didn't think they were overpriced to which she countered it is in a neighborhood where you wouldn't expect to pay much for a meal. I couldn't argue with that, I was just thinking of CL in a vacuum.
Off the beaten path & lack of marketing pretty much are a double whammy and that seems a problem to us. There's little traffic on Vine Street. It ain't Frankfort Avenue or Bardstown Road or East Market. People don't drive up and down Vine Street asking, "OK, where should we eat?" And the first time we went to Coach Lamp we had a little trouble finding it. So even driving along the street it doesn't scream, "Hey, we can feed you". You have to know in advance you want to go there and without publicity that is done - how? We've been there a couple of times and really enjoyed it as what Amy notes as a 'best kept secret'. But we've eaten there because we stumbled upon references by actively looking through foodie media. That's not a hobby for everyone. A lot of folks are open to trying new things but you have to reach out to them. A restaurant is not a geo-caching game.