Louisville Magazine

AUG 2014

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

Issue link: https://loumag.epubxp.com/i/352322

Contents of this Issue


Page 66 of 148

48 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.14 Portland Museum executive director Nathalie Andrews, new business the Tim Faulkner Gallery and grocery-store owner Carroll Hopewell. by the end of the year. Hillbilly Tea will be Portland's only sit-down, independent restaurant that doesn't sell pizza and wings. "Now you can go to another Hillbilly Tea for your favorites," says Louis, the owner. Unlike the down- town location, the new place will always serve the staples, like chicken salad. "I lived in Portland for a year. I gained weight!" Louis says. "All I know is poor people eat too. . . I could compete and make food that will get you fat and give you diabetes and kill you. But our goal is to be ap- proachable. I guarantee you can come to Hillbilly Tea for lunch or brunch for the cost of a McDonald's combo." West End real estate values have plummeted over the last 15 years. Te median value of single-family units is $27,600, compared to $123,500 in all of Louisville. Portland's single-family housing accounts for less than 2 percent of Louisville's, but has 10 percent of the city's va- cant and abandoned properties. Holland bought 20 homes to fx up, what he calls "urban acupuncture." Restore the worst place on the block and you increase the value of the whole area. "Real estate is just one of the building blocks for what we really want to do," Holland tells me over the phone. "Portland is so rich historically. Everybody knows each other. It's diverse. It's geographically desirable." But people worry about raising the cost of living. "What if the rent goes up?" says Mary Turner, a lifelong resident and member of Portland Now. "I've lived here for years. What if I can't aford to live here anymore?" I ask Holland about her worries. "I understand the concern, but there are a lot of vacant properties. We've got 20. At this rate, it would take us 70 years," he says. "If in 70 years we've flled up every gap, then we can have that conversation." A nna Denham, a bony woman with gray hair hanging past her shoulders, turns around on her barstool at the Cavalier and smiles at my rain- soaked face. "Honey, let me buy you a soda," she says. Owen reaches his can of Diet Coke to me. "Feel that. Coldest beer in Portland," he says as I unstick my fngers from the drink. Denham, 55 — "speed-limit age," as she says — grew up in Portland with her single mother and grandparents. "Everybody knew everybody and everybody looked out for everybody," she says. "I remember as a child you'd be corrected by your neighbors just as quick as your parents." Denham married, moved away, divorced, came back. She moved to Las Vegas, came back; moved to Flori- da, came back. It's a story I hear over and over: Portlanders come back. "Tis is my home; this is my people," she says. Forty-two percent of those people live below the poverty level, according to a January report by the Network Center for Community Change, a now-defunct nonproft that campaigned for social change. Te street outside is a corri- dor of barren and broken buildings. "When I was growing up, every block consisted of a restaurant, a grocery store and a bar. We did not have to leave this community," Den- ham says. "Now we go to St. Matthews or Indiana. It's sad to see Kentucky's money lost to Indiana. I think this new development is awesome if they follow through. I hope we

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Louisville Magazine - AUG 2014