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Rob S

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Senora Arepos in St Matthews

by Rob S » Mon Apr 03, 2023 4:20 pm

THere was a lot of work going on in this space in the fall. It all came to a halt right after the owner's bigoted Facebook posts went viral. Anyone know if this still plans to open? I am betting bank pulled funding or something to that effect after those social media posts. THey definitely should have been open by now but it is just sitting vacant.
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Andrew Mellman

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Re: Senora Arepos in St Matthews

by Andrew Mellman » Tue Apr 04, 2023 3:21 pm

I have absolutely no idea, but in that period (late Summer/Fall) they opened a Senora Arepas at 711 E Main Street downtown, sort of behind (?) Mimi's.

I tend to think that it's tough to open two places simultaneously, and would anticipate a St. Matt's branch a few months later than expected?
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Re: Senora Arepos in St Matthews

by Robin Garr » Tue Apr 04, 2023 5:23 pm

Andrew, were the two openings that close, though? Señora Arepa opened in Nulu in August 2021 - I reviewed it then - and the St. Matthews plan wasn't announced until July 25, 2022, a year later. Looks like it's set for the place where Quills Coffee > Steel City Pops used to be. The WLKY/Business First article didn't give a planned opening date, but I wouldn't say it's horrifically out of date nine months later.

https://www.wlky.com/article/senora-are ... s/40696494
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Re: Senora Arepos in St Matthews

by Andrew Mellman » Tue Apr 04, 2023 5:58 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Andrew, were the two openings that close, though? Señora Arepa opened in Nulu in August 2021 - I reviewed it then - and the St. Matthews plan wasn't announced until July 25, 2022, a year later. Looks like it's set for the place where Quills Coffee > Steel City Pops used to be. The WLKY/Business First article didn't give a planned opening date, but I wouldn't say it's horrifically out of date nine months later.

https://www.wlky.com/article/senora-are ... s/40696494


Sorry, I blew it . . . I thought August 2022, and I guess my memory isn't that great. I totally agree though that in today's economy and problems hiring employees I don't see them as that much out of date yet.
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Re: Senora Arepos in St Matthews

by Rich S » Tue Apr 04, 2023 8:07 pm

Robin Garr wrote:The WLKY/Business First article didn't give a planned opening date, but I wouldn't say it's horrifically out of date nine months later.


Robin, you’re right that nine months isn’t unusual, but what’s strange is that Senora Arepa seems to have done virtually no work in the front part of the building, and I never see construction workers there when I drive by.

There may be an issue with parking. Senora Arepa has requested a waiver to reduce the required number of parking spaces from 42 to 27, and it doesn’t appear that the city has approved that plan yet.
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Re: Senora Arepos in St Matthews

by Robin Garr » Wed Apr 05, 2023 6:42 am

Rich S wrote:Robin, you’re right that nine months isn’t unusual, but what’s strange is that Senora Arepa seems to have done virtually no work in the front part of the building, and I never see construction workers there when I drive by.

There may be an issue with parking. Senora Arepa has requested a waiver to reduce the required number of parking spaces from 42 to 27, and it doesn’t appear that the city has approved that plan yet.

Good points, Rich. That block is really active ... it seems the St. Matthews entertainment zone has fully rounded the corner, so if Ole doesn't want that space, I'm sure someone else will!
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Re: Senora Arepos in St Matthews

by Rob S » Tue Apr 11, 2023 9:45 am

Thanks all who have replied. My point was that there were a lot of workers there last fall and it looked like they were cruising for an opening around November. Then, ever since Martinez's bigoted Facebook posts went viral, it has gone silent. No workers - nothing. I find the timing curious and interesting.
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Re: Senora Arepos in St Matthews

by Robin Garr » Tue Apr 11, 2023 10:42 am

Rob S wrote:Thanks all who have replied. My point was that there were a lot of workers there last fall and it looked like they were cruising for an opening around November. Then, ever since Martinez's bigoted Facebook posts went viral, it has gone silent. No workers - nothing. I find the timing curious and interesting.

Rob, thanks for re-clarifying. We do tend to digress. 8) I think that's a very good question, but I'm not sure how to check it out. I doubt Olé would be particularly forthcoming in response to questions.
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Re: Senora Arepos in St Matthews

by Carla G » Wed Apr 12, 2023 9:17 am

Robin Garr wrote:
Rob S wrote:Thanks all who have replied. My point was that there were a lot of workers there last fall and it looked like they were cruising for an opening around November. Then, ever since Martinez's bigoted Facebook posts went viral, it has gone silent. No workers - nothing. I find the timing curious and interesting.

Rob, thanks for re-clarifying. We do tend to digress. 8) I think that's a very good question, but I'm not sure how to check it out. I doubt Olé would be particularly forthcoming in response to questions.


I think 'voting with your wallet' is the latest (and the safest) way to digress. It's simple, non violent, and seems to be the only way to have your voice heard by those that value capitalism above all else. We will be seeing more and more of it as time goes on. Say what you want to say, think what you want to think but the rest of us do n ot have to spend our money with you. Easy peazzy.
"She did not so much cook as assassinate food." - Storm Jameson
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Re: Senora Arepos in St Matthews

by Rich S » Thu Jun 01, 2023 1:21 pm

Whatever the issue was, construction work resumed recently at Senora Arepa. It looks like there’s still a lot left to do, so I’d be surprised to see it open before Labor Day.
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Re: Senora Arepos in St Matthews

by Nathaniel C » Thu Aug 03, 2023 10:12 pm

It appears this has become a "move" rather than a new location. Sign is lit up and people inside. Social media suggested the old location closed, and I assume the new one has done a soft open.
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Re: Senora Arepos in St Matthews

by Robin Garr » Fri Aug 04, 2023 5:00 am

Hmm, that’s unexpected.
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Re: Senora Arepos in St Matthews

by Rich S » Fri Aug 04, 2023 11:59 am

Nathaniel C wrote:It appears this has become a "move" rather than a new location. Sign is lit up and people inside. Social media suggested the old location closed, and I assume the new one has done a soft open.


This really puzzles me. Was the NuLu location doing badly, or does Fernando Martinez want to open a different restaurant in that space, like they did with Artesano and Steak and Bourbon?

I'm also surprised the local media haven't reported this; Senora Arepa posted about it on Instagram two weeks ago.
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Re: Senora Arepos in St Matthews

by Robin Garr » Fri Aug 04, 2023 3:44 pm

Rich, you said what I had been thinking: Maybe that small space hidden behind Bodequita isn't ideal for a long-term operation, so Ole might use it as an incubator for new concepts: Build, grow, move out or die?

I'm remembering the tiny building on Willis Avenue that's now Kayrouz Cafe but that held the very first Tony Boombozz, then became an incubator for new concepts by Tony Palombino that either grew out on their own or fizzled out.
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Re: Senora Arepos in St Matthews

by Nathaniel C » Fri Aug 04, 2023 3:52 pm

I agree about the location. On the other hand, I've said this before, one of the things I loved about the O.G. Havana Rumba was that it wasn't on the main drag, so patrons had to seek it out. Now, it's much easier to "happen upon" if someone gets pulled in to the Bermuda Triangle of restaurants at the Shelbyville/Breckenridge intersection.

I also had no idea that the Boombozz guy founded Joella's.

Edit to add: Senora Arepas' social media suggests they're not officially open yet. The people I saw inside could have been employees, but it's odd that the sign at the front was lit.
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