Uh Oh Avalon
Highlanders have found themselves wrapped up in yet another mystery, the sudden and unforeseen closing of the Avalon restaurant. Avalon abruptly closed it’s doors last week, posting white paper signs in the windows stating their closure was due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Avalon opened it’s doors in 2002 and was one of the most popular hot spots on Bardstown Road’s Restaurant Row. Avalon has won numerous award and accolades over it’s ten years of service. Most recently it won Metromix Louisville’s Best Date and Special Occasion Spot, Best of Louisville Award for Best Patio Dining, and was given over ten published reviews and write-ups in the last year. The Lobster Mac and Cheese, signature cocktails, and lively patio were all staples of Avalon that will surely be missed by many.
I walked by the front of the restaurant yesterday, and I peeked inside the large windows to see what shape it was in. It was rather odd, as if someone came in and told everyone to drop what they were doing, mid sweep, and leave. Dust pans are still by the bathrooms, tables are still set, and nothing seems to be touched from the end of dinner service. Something didn’t seem right. Avalon was a hip restaurant, a place to be and be seen, nearly always busy. So what could force them to close their doors, and so suddenly at that?
In just the past couple of days, information has started to surface, that is helping us understand why Avalon had to shut down. Steve Clements, owner of Avalon, is also the operator of Clements Catering. Clements Catering was headquartered at the Kentucky Derby Museum up until a week before the mysterious closing of Avalon. Apparently, Clements was let go by the Kentucky Derby Museum, and is now being sued by the Museum, citing “unresolved conflicts.” There is speculation that for the past few years, Clements has been defrauding the Kentucky Derby Museum with “creative accounting.” Neither side has come out and said that this is the case, but the Kentucky Derby Museum is asking for compensation plus punitive damages. Clements is the owner of Luna Boutique as well. Luna Boutique offers jewelry, accessories, and spa treatments. Luna Boutique is still open and having a 50% off sale, but their future is still unknown.
It is really a shame to lose a great restaurant like Avalon, especially so suddenly. In time we will see what happens with this story, if Avalon will ever re-open, or if it is gone for good. The good news is that in Louisville we are not lacking in the great food department. We will survive without Avalon’s Lobster Mac and Cheese, it might be hard for a while, but we will find a way.