Big Four + Big Four = Evidence … of a plan in Jeffersonville.


Best wishes to Matt (Irish Exit) McMahan on the opening of Big Four Burgers + Beer in Jeffersonville. I know this is a big project for Matt, and as the newspaper headline indicates, his restaurant is the first of several “centered around Big Four Bridge.”

Let’s hope that the city of New Albany’s economic development director is reading.

Previously we’ve noted the importance of the potential importance of the Big Four’s pedestrian and bicycle access for Jeffersonville, which has always seemed to lack redevelopment focus. The bridge provides this focus, which places a rather considerable spotlight directly on revitalization-through-walkability issues — and to the city’s credit, the opportunity is being grabbed with both hands.

That’s the first red flag waving in New Albany’s general, plan-less direction.

Others are revealed in excerpts below. I’ve asked before: What is New Albany doing to incentivize investment downtown?

Anyone? Bueller?

Note two things Jeffersonville does that New Albany does not: Forgivable loans, and 10K facade grants … although, in fairness, once we were prepared to give away a multi-million dollar parking garage. Just imagine if money like that were put to use as fertilizer for MULTIPLE revtalization projects? It almost makes me wish I could swim.

Burgers + Beer + open in Jeffersonville: First of the restaurants centered around Big Four Bridge opens, by Braden Lammers (Paywall Picayune)

The finishing touches are wrapping up, and at 11 a.m. today the Big Four is set to open.

No, it’s not the pedestrian and bicycle bridge nearby that lends its name to the space, but a restaurant called Big Four Burgers + Beer. Like the aforementioned Big Four Bridge, Big Four Burgers + Beer was behind schedule on its hopeful opening date, but only by two months, not a year behind schedule like the Ohio River span.

And after months of hard work, Matt McMahan, who developed the concept, said he is excited to open the restaurant in historic downtown Jeffersonville because there is nothing else like it in the area.
Additional seating will be available outdoors in the spring with another 40 seats on patios on both the first and second floors of the building. A third level of the 8,000-square-foot space, which was formerly Third Base Tavern, will be reserved for private parties.

To transform the former tavern into a restaurant space with exposed brick, dark hardwood floors and mason jar light fixtures, McMahan said it cost upwards of $100,000. The city of Jeffersonville helped to defer some of those costs as the restaurant received a $50,000 forgivable loan from the Redevelopment Commission and a $10,000 Jeffersonville Main Street facade grant.