Larry and Rosemary Conder have been purchasing and renovating properties in downtown Owensboro for years, even winning a 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Owensboro Chamber of Commerce for their revitalization efforts. With the recent closures of Bee Bops restaurant and The Hajimari Sushi Bar, which were both operated in properties owned by the Conders, there are several vacant Second Street properties that the Conders would like to see filled.
Larry Conder said at least three people have expressed interest in taking over the lease of the former Bee Bops location at 122 W. Second St. One person told Conder they would like to renovate the former restaurant and were enthusiastic that it provided appliances such as fryers and grills that remained in the building after Bee Bops closed its doors in November.
According to Conder, the decision as to who will take over the space will come from a mutual agreement between himself, his wife and the person who wants the space.
“It’s important to choose the right person for this location,” Conder said.
The former Hajimari Sushi Bar, previously Gambrinus Libation Emporium, is located nearby at 118 W. Second St. Conder said the restaurant’s owner is still paying rent on the space, but has chosen to focus on a new restaurant he opened in Paducah. Meanwhile, Conder said the lease is current, but that doesn’t mean Conder doesn’t plan to fill the space with something new.
“It always looks better when occupied,” Conder said. “It’s always going to look better when the lights are on and business is going inside.”
The corner property on the lower level at 126 St. Ann St., the previous location for Nona’s Market, has remained vacant for some time. Conder said there is a plan for that space, although it may take around three months for everything to fall into place.
Conder said a dramatic change in the renter’s business model set things back a bit, but Steve Fierro and his investors should be ready to move in within the next couple of months.
According to Conder, all of the leases on these buildings are current, and all payments are up to date.