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Longtime Louisville landmark closes after controversy

By on January 15, 2013
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By Aimee Jewell–

After 22 years of serving unique dishes to the Louisville community, Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, located at 984 Barret Avenue, is out of business. A vital tourist destination and a staple to Louisville’s local eateries, Lynn’s served their last meal Friday night, after news of legal trouble was on the horizon. According to WDRB, Lynn Winter, the owner of Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, did not release a reason for closing so abruptly, but stated: “Thank you to all of our loyal customers and faithful employees for making it possible to run a 22-year business. It’s been a great run and we’ve had a ton of fun. The time has come to move on to new creative ventures.”

Mixed emotions about Lynn and her Cafe trickled through the Louisville community as fans and foes found out about the restaurant closing. Many shared fond memories on Facebook, while others critiqued Lynn’s management style and her business practices.

Making employees carry $100 on them at all times, in order to contribute to the tip pool at the end of a shift is illegal in Kentucky, but many employees said that this was mandatory at Lynn’s.

I didn’t really enjoy working there, stated Betsy Schneider, a UofL graduate and former Lynn’s Paradise Cafe employee. Nothing bad ever happened to me, but I did see others treated unfairly. We were under a lot of scrutiny. There was a lot of micromanaging.”

The looney Louisville eatery invited both travelers and guests from around the community in for its themed parties, which included the “Tacky Prom” on Valentine’s Day and the “Pajama Party” each New Year’s Eve. Lynn’s patron and a current law student at UofL, Benjamin Siegel, is especially let down to see Lynn’s close.

“It [Valentine’s Day] won’t be the same wherever we go this year because we won’t be dining next to the ugliest lamps in the state or under a tree covered in stuffed animals and balloons…I have full faith that Louisville businesses will strive even without Lynn’s to bring people to the neighborhood, but our city certainly got a little less weird today.”

features@louisvillecardinal.com
Photos: Tricia Stern/The Louisville Cardinal

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