Ferd Grisanti’s Closed Forever

Ferd Grisanti's

(above photo of Ferd Grisanti’s from louisvillehotbytes.com)

Yes, we’ve been away from the computer for far too long, and we do apologize. But we’re back, at least for a little bit today, and though it’s a few days old, we thought we’d update with the news about one of our all-time favorite restaurants, Ferd Grisanti’s, closing its doors (from the Courier-Journal):

Ferd Grisanti Restaurant, a fixture on Taylorsville Road in Jeffersontown for 35 years, has closed, its owner confirmed yesterday.

“We succumbed to high gas prices and the struggling economy,” said Rodney Rupp, who bought the 170-seat restaurant from Paul and Vince Grisanti in January 2007.

The business was founded in 1973 by the Grisantis’ father, Ferd, who got into the restaurant business when he and his brother Albert opened Casa Grisanti on Liberty Street in 1959.

Most of the Ferd Grisanti patrons, who for years had come there for fine dining, had scaled back their ordering habits, Rupp said. He said patrons told him they had less disposable cash because of increases in the cost of living.

“Many were splitting half portions of alfredo and vermicelli” instead of ordering the more expensive items, he said.

Rupp, who said that his losses from the restaurant are “well over $200,000,” first noticed the downturn in business in October.

Business was down 30 percent to 40 percent in March and April over previous years, Rupp said. And May, which is historically its best month because of Kentucky Derby traffic, wasn’t any better.

Rupp closed Ferd Grisanti on June 8 because he didn’t think that the business could survive the summer.

While he owned the restaurant business, he didn’t own the building. It is owned by Joan Grisanti, widow of Ferd Grisanti, who died in 1993.

Paul Grisanti, 53, said last night that the future is uncertain for the property at 10212 Taylorsville Road.

His family is “still weighing our options,” he said, although he declined to specify what they may include.

Such a shame. When we were kids, Ferd’s was our favorite place to go (on the rare times we got to eat there), and we remember Ferd being a smiling, friendly presence in the dining room — and the food was fantastic. We were hoping to get out to J-Town for a meal at Ferd’s sometime this year (it’s kind of a long drive from our house), but alas it was not to be.


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