Peyton Ray has purchased the building his temporarily shuttered pre-Prohibitionesque cocktail bar, Meat, shares with gastropub The Blind Pig. The two establishments, both of which have brought national media attention to Butchertown, have been in a dispute related to liquor licensing.
Joseph Frase, the Blind Pig's owner, said he learned about Ray's purchase of 1076 E. Washington St. yesterday. "It was kind of underhanded and behind my back," Frase said. "The owner of the building [Andy Blieden] kind of screwed me on that."
UPDATE May 16, 1:32 p.m. Frase has issued a personally apology "for the things that were said, in the heat of the moment, about Mr. Blieden and Mr. Ray in this story" in our comments section.
It's not yet clear where the deal is in the real-estate transaction process. UPDATE 11:35 a.m.: A copy of the new deed, obtained from the Jefferson Country Clerk's office, is at the end of this article. You also can download a .pdf of it here. The deed was recorded on May 10. With BLAMS, LLC, Andrew M. Blieden, manager, selling the property to SP Holdings, Charles Peyton Ray III, member, for $525,000.
"I cannot comment on that," said Blieden, who also leases space to the Holy Grale, citing a confidentially agreement. A voice mail message was left for Ray at 10:10 a.m. This article will be updated should he respond. Eater Louisville first learned of the transaction via an anonymous tip.
UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: Carolyn McLean, PR council for SP Holdings and Meat, provided a little more background on the transaction. "They're very excited about the opportunity," she said. "They've been very interested in the renewal project of Butchertown, as well as the revitalization."
"I personally believe that the only reason he bought the building was just out of pettiness and basically to be a dick. I don't know how else to put it," Frase said. "The state basically requested me to shut down Meat and that's what I had to do to save my liquor license, to protect my business."
The Blind Pig is still open for business and its lease, which doesn't expire until December 2014, is still in full force. "But because of the legal issues and personal issues that we're having with Mr. Ray, he's probably going to do everything he can to shut us down."
UPDATE 11:35 a.m.: The building has 24-hour security monitoring it, according to two anonymous sources.
Frase is undecided if he's going to look for a new building for The Blind Pig before his lease expires. "I'm not sure yet, I'm still talking with my attorneys about stuff. I'm kind of waiting about this whole ABC issue [to be resolved] that Mr. Ray had been the cause of." The ABC hearing had been slated for May 16, but is being rescheduled.
"I'm pretty emotional about it just because we were the first thing down here [in Butchertown]," Frase said. "I'm not saying that the stuff that's going on down here with the new bar and that, it's the reason why they came here. But we were the first ones here, we kind of paved the way for everything to be here and for what's happening in Butchertown now. And I feel like it's being completely taken away from me out of just pure spitefulness."
·Drinks International: Little Beats Meat [~ELOU~]
·Restaurant Review: The Blind Pig in Louisville, Ky. [New York Times]
[Photos: Courtesy Blind Pig and Zach Everson]