By Marty Finley – Reporter, Louisville Business First

A popular Highlands restaurant will be temporarily closing next month in order to construct an expanded complex with retail uses on site.

La Bamba is razing its existing building at 1237 Bardstown Road and will replace it with a new 1,400-square-foot facility next year, according to a news release.

The restaurant’s last day in its current location is Nov. 11. La Bamba is slated to reopen in its new facility by April 2020, and demolition of the existing restaurant will start next month.

“We’ve loved being part of the Highlands for the last 22 years and are excited to bring not only a better space for the restaurant, but opportunity for more retail space in this sought-after area,” Ramiro Aguas, owner of the Illinois-based La Bamba restaurant chain, said in the release. “We’ll miss our customers over the next several months, but will be back bigger and better in the spring.”

The project also calls for the construction of more than 3,700 square feet of retail split into two spaces — 2,090 square feet and 1,675 square feet — that will be leased to future tenants. The release says the retail spaces will front Bardstown Road while the restaurant will adjoin those spaces on the back side of the property. You can see the layout for yourself in the attached rendering.

The project’s development costs were not disclosed.

Louisville-based Calhoun Construction is the general contractor while Foxworth Architecture is designing the restaurant and retail space.

La Bamba has been active in this spot since 1997 and is known for its “Burritos as Big as Your Head” slogan. Aguas and his brother, Antonio, started the restaurant chain in Champaign, Ill. and now has eight locations in the Midwest.