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East Main Favorites Closing Their Doors


Two beloved downtown businesses confirmed plans to shut down this week. The Town Branch Market is closing up shop on Saturday while the owners of Natasha’s Bistro & Bar have indicated the dining and theater venue won’t reopen.

In what’s sure to come as more disappointing news for residents and other patrons who frequent the East Main Street area, the owner of Town Branch Market, Howard Stovall, says profits at the downtown grocery and deli haven’t been sufficient to build up and maintain the business.

And though the corner store has grown into a social hub over the last four years, Stovall says attractions on West Main have overshadowed offerings just down the street.

"Whenever there's events or activities or development, the focus is really between the courthouse and Triangle Park and East Main has pretty well been ignored," he says. "And I think that's kind of coming home to roost for some of the businesses on that end of the street."

With many elderly customers living in the nearby Christ Church Apartments relying on the market, Stovall says he wants to find a new owner interested in reopening the grocery.

Fans of Natasha’s Bistro & Bar held out similar hopes for that business, which locked up in late October, but owner Gene Williams announced this week the venue won’t be returning.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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