Baxter Station Bar & Grill is open and not closing anytime soon owner Andrew Hutto said today. Why was he being asked in the first place? The 22-year-old Payne Street restaurant
·has a B health code rating after three straight Cs (the restaurant has a B in its window; the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness's website hasn't been updated yet)
·has anonymous commenters and emails to Eater stating the restaurant was closed per order of the Department of Public Health & Wellness
·a broken front window
·reviewers on Urbanspoon and Yelp complaining about the restaurant's decline and menu items being out of stock
·a suspended website
Here Hutto explains each issue.
Hutto wouldn't comment on the issues causing Baxter Station's low health inspection scores, citing a pending inspection this Friday. But he reiterated at length that he has been addressing each concern as they are brought to his attention.
Closed by order of the health department
While Baxter Station was closed for three days by the health department. "They told us to not open until they inspected us," Hutto said. Baxter Station was open yesterday and will be open again tomorrow as usual (it's regularly scheduled to be closed on Mondays).
When asked if he planned on staying open long-term, Hutto said, "Yeah of course,"
Broken front window
"That's been broken for a while," Hutto said of his front window. It was broken previously and Hutto fixed it. But citing the $800 cost, Hutto has refrained from replacing it again.
Hutto attributed the restaurant's perceived food shortages to miscommunication in the kitchen. "I can't tell you the amount of times where people go 'we're out of something,' and I walk right to it and take them with me and go, 'Uh, here's a whole bunch of it.' That's kind of like a frustration with the workforce and mentality right now."
Hutto said he's addressing that problem. "Right now I'm trying to find good quality people to come in and work," he said. "I know they're out there, I just don't know how to find them. Print ads don't help a whole lot. I guess you can advertise online. I just don't know. I'm kind of dumfounded after 22 years in the business it's just become a real struggle. They're so many restaurants and so many places for people to go"
"The front of the house people expect to make $100 every night they work and that's not a realistic expectation. So you'll get a server who'll train for three or four shifts. And then they'll work two or three shifts. And then they're like, 'I'm not making enough money' and they quit. That's happened several times and it has nothing to do with our food quality. It's just their expectations are too high. And if you talk to everybody in the restaurant business right now, everybody is slow. Every business person I've talked to has the same frustrations with employees that I do. And it's not just restaurants."
"We weren't aware of that until someone let us know," Hutto said, adding that it will come back online.
·Baxter Station's Andrew Hutto says he's down, but not selling out yet [Insider Louisville]
·Vandals hit Baxter Station four times in one month [WDRB 41]
[Photo: Zach Everson]