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Lynn's Paradise Café Has (Finally) Sold

The former Lynn's Paradise Cafe on Barrett Avenue.
The former Lynn's Paradise Cafe on Barrett Avenue.

After being closed for more than three years, a popular Louisville restaurant has a new owner.

Lynn Winter announced Thursday that she has sold the Lynn’s Paradise Café building and property on Barret Avenue to a Nashville-based restaurant group. She declined to name them and would not share the purchase price.

“They’re just phenomenal," she said. "They’ve got capital as well as really good operators. I don’t know the concept going in, but I feel phenomenally great about the things they are doing and the things they are going to bring to Louisville.”

The original Lynn’s opened on Frankfort Avenue in 1991 and moved to the Barret Avenue location in 1994.

Lynn’s was as well-known for its kitschy décor and offbeat events as it was for its food. It was featured on several national television programs.

Hillary and Bill Clinton made a campaign stop at Lynn’s on the eve of the Kentucky primary during her 2008 presidential bid.

Winter abruptly closed the restaurant in January of 2013. It's been something of a saga since then, with Winter drawing criticism from neighbors and fellow business owners on the strip that her price and demands -- an early one was that she would retain creative control over any buyer -- were prohibitive.

For Winter, the sale of her eponymous restaurant is the end of an era.

“Of course I’m sad," she said. "It’s hard to let something this big go out of your life, although the core of what we were is still inside me. My swirl is what I call it."

Winter says she doesn’t know if the new owners will continue with the kitschy décor and other concepts she created for the restaurant.

Winter has been living part-time in California and says she might pursue some investment opportunities in the tech industry there.

Rick Howlett was midday host and the host of LPM's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." He was with LPM from 2001-2023 and held many different titles, including Morning Edition host, Assignment Editor and Interim News Director. He died in August 2023. Read a remembrance of Rick here.