For anyone visiting Louisville over the past 100 years, the Blue Parrot Restaurant was a familiar name and sight. You definitely saw their neon sign at the corner of Main Street and Pine Street, and you may have eaten a plate of their famous spaghetti!
Those more familiar with the restaurant will remember the iconic stained glass window that was located near the front entrance and visible from Main Street. Unfortunately, that window, an important piece of Louisville history, was damaged in the recent renovation of the building.
The window was recently donated by the new owners of the building to the Historical Museum, and The Louisville History Foundation is raising money to help preserve this beautiful piece of stained glass.
A cornerstone of the Louisville community
Louisville has a long tradition of being known as a restaurant town, and it owes much of that reputation to a small, family-owned Italian restaurant at 640 Main Street. A Louisville landmark for nearly a century, The Blue Parrot Restaurant helped put Louisville on the map in the 1950s and 1960s.
The restaurant was founded in 1919 by Italian residents Mike and Mary Colacci in the building that had previously been the site of Huber’s Drug Store. This Colacci establishment was known early on by different names, however, in 1936 they changed it to the name that would make it famous for the next 80 years. Customers came from afar for the Blue Parrot’s spaghetti, meatballs, and sausage in a welcoming setting.
The restaurant also played an important role in the local economy. Italian-American restaurants like the Blue Parrot employed a large number of local men and women in town which helped the local economy during hard times.
After 98 years of dishing up authentic Italian cuisine to residents and out of town guests, the family-owned restaurant closed its doors in January 2017.