The Palm Room reopens in the Russell neighborhood of Louisville after loan from METCO


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville Forward Chef Mary Ellen Wiederwohl and City Councilor Barbara Sexton Smith today joined owner Marcus Withers to cut the ribbon for The Palm Room, a lounge offering food and drinks. live blues, soul and R&B music. The Palm Room opened last week on the site of historic Joe’s Palm Room, 1821 West Jefferson Street.

Joe’s Palm Room was a landmark in the Russell neighborhood and served for decades as a gathering place where the community gathered to listen to live music and have a good time before finally shutting down.

Prior to its opening, The Palm Room underwent renovations of over $ 470,000, made possible in part by two loans, totaling $ 284,087, made under the city’s METCO loan program. The program provides low-interest loans to entrepreneurs and small business owners for working capital, facade improvements, building renovations, gap financing, accessibility improvements and Moreover.

“Through the METCO loan program, the city can help entrepreneurs breathe new life into vacant buildings and grow their businesses. We are delighted that The Palm Room was able to take advantage of this program to renovate and reinvent this important Russell landmark, ”said Wiederwohl. “.

Withers used the two METCO loans to help pay for improvements to the building’s facade, as well as interior renovations, and said he was “delighted to be able to reopen the historic Palm Room to the community.”

“When I first bought the property, I wasn’t sure about its future. The original Joe’s Palm Room opened in 1967 and served as a mainstay for the African American community in Louisville. After doing some research on the original owner, Mr. Hammond and what he stood for, I decided to renovate the building and bring it back to life, ”Withers said. “Working with the town and its METCO loan program, I was able to easily navigate the entire process that helped us bring this staple back to the community of Russell. I would like to thank the METCO team for their commitment to this project and I highly recommend this program to local entrepreneurs.

Withers added that “Business has been excellent and we are in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions. Thank you to the community for welcoming The Palm Room again.

Since 2015, Louisville Metro has granted nearly $ 10.2 million in METCO loans, of which $ 2.17 million has gone to businesses in West Louisville.

“Investing in inner city neighborhoods is exactly what we need to do, and the reopening of the old Joe’s Palm Room on West Jefferson Street is a great example of a public-private partnership,” said City Councilor Sexton Smith, D-4 .

Learn more about the METCO loan program and the variety of loans available to small businesses at

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