By Brooke Moody–
Established in 1992, Hill Street Fish Fry has been serving up fresh, hot seafood to Louisville residents for 24 years. Located at 111 E. Hill St., the iconic Old Louisville restaurant has stood witness to the changing times and economy and will soon be making changes of its own.
Owner Larry Linker’s traditional ways kept costumers coming back for over two decades. But in this new age of technology, he isn’t afraid to make updates that will allow the restaurant to serve a larger and more diverse population.
In conjunction with the U of L School of Business, Hill Street Fish Fry is re-branding as Hill Street Fish Fry and Seafood. At first, the name change may seem insignificant, but the terms “fish fry and seafood” will remind locals Hill Street Fish Fry and Seafood has more to offer than just fried fish.
To continue to serve the U of L community, Linker also partners with Arrow Food Couriers to provide delivery service. Students and Old Louisville residents can order Hill Street Fish Fry and Seafood using Arrow’s website or app.
“This is an opportunity I wouldn’t be able to offer otherwise,” said Linker regarding Arrow. “I love those guys, and those guys are quick. They help me get the food to the customer while it is still hot.”
In addition, Linker is working with the business school to create a social media plan. This plan will allow the restaurant to connect to students and residents who utilize social media to find new restaurants, build relationships with local businesses and make recommendations.
Linker and his wife opened the restaurant in a completely different economy and atmosphere.
“When we first opened the restaurant, there were close to 800 small businesses in a five square mile area,” said Linker.
But the 2008 recession took its toll on Old Louisville, and the area experienced a drastic decrease in locally-owned businesses. Hill Street Fish Fry was one of the few to survive.
Today, Linker continues to serve up fresh seafood. Their no-frills menu features classic fish combos cooked the old fashioned way. Menu items include fried catfish, shrimp, oysters and hushpuppies.
“Every meal is cooked to order,” Linker said, “You don’t put fish on a warmer. I want the customer to be able to eat the meal hot, right when it’s ready.”
As he makes changes, Linker hopes to preserve the heart of the restaurant. Family photos and newspaper clippings will continue to create a homey atmosphere, and the seafood will still be right off the boat and served hot.
Photo by Dustin Massengill / The Louisville Cardinal