LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Sav's Grill on South Limestone, which brought West African cuisine to Lexington, has closed after 11 years of service.
Sav's Grill, on South Limestone, has closed. Sav plans to open a new location on East Main. (WKYT)
Owner Sav Savane says many changes to the South Limestone area have made it too difficult for customers to reach his restaurant.
"My lunchtime here before used to be, the line was sometimes out the door, and now it's like I open and, 'Where's everybody?'" said Savane.
Savane says students are not coming as often from campus after the new University of Kentucky student center was completed. The student center offers more and cheaper options for hungry students. It is also becoming more difficult to park because of the construction boom in the area.
"There's no parking. If you get five calls a day, maybe one will try to come in. Those four will decide to go somewhere else," said Savane.
Only two parking spots -- both requiring payment -- are available on the street near the closed restaurant.
The community rallied around Savane in 2014 when a vat of sauce spilled on him, causing serious burns to his arms. The community filled the restaurant from open to close and raised money for Savane while he recovered. Savane says the changes over the last five years have created a new reality which forced the closure of the current location.
Savane still plans to be part of the Lexington food scene. Sav's Chill, his ice cream shop across the street is still attracting plenty of business. Savane also plans to open a new location for his restaurant on East Main Street. He is hopeful the new location and additional parking will help grow the communities appetite for West African food.