Day: July 28, 2016

An Ohio thief allegedly showed this note to a Papa John’s employee: ‘Sorry, I’m robbing you’

The latest crime news across the world of 48,000 restaurants*.

Crime scene tapeIn Berea, Ohio, a 45-year-old man is facing aggravated robbery charges this week after he allegedly robbed a Papa John’s by walking into the restaurant and giving an employee a note that said, “Sorry, I’m robbing you.”

The worker asked the man — Sean P. Roth — if he was joking, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Roth said he had a gun in his pocket, although he never actually showed it. The employee gave Roth between $65 and $75 from the cash drawer, and then Roth fled. Police arrested him later.

In Houston, the owner of a Papa John’s restaurant says he’s been robbed at gunpoint for a second time in less than five months; the latest incident, at about 11 p.m. Sunday, was caught on surveillance video.

It shows a man, his face covered, running into the store, then slipping on a freshly mopped floor. He then enters the office and turns his gun on an employee counting money. The man then orders the employee to help gather up the cash. A story about the incident by Click 2 Houston doesn’t say how much he may have taken.

* Yum has 43,000 KFCs, Pizza Huts and Taco Bells in nearly 140 countries; Papa John’s has 4,900 in 37 countries, and Texas Roadhouse has 485 restaurants across the U.S. and five other countries. With that many locations, crimes inevitably will occur — with potentially serious legal consequences for the companies.

Changing of the family guard: At Brown-Forman’s annual meeting, the ordinary was actually extraordinary

By Jim Hopkins
Boulevard Publisher

George Garvin Brown IV, a great-great grandson of the young pharmaceuticals salesman who started Brown-Forman in 1870, stepped onto a dais at the whiskey giant’s annual stockholders meeting today, and told an amusing story about a subject that might otherwise have been deadly dull: brand loyalty.

Garvin Brown IV
Garvin Brown

It was 9:30 a.m., and several hundred stockholders had assembled in a conference room at the white-collanaded headquarters on Dixie Highway west of downtown. On a classically muggy Louisville summer morning, this was a dressy crowd. Many of the men wore dark suits, crisp white shirts, and boarding school repp ties. Women wore tailored dresses, or smart skirts paired with jackets, and an occasional pearl necklace. People were tan and slim and — in the case of the many Browns there — very, very rich.

This was a business event, but it felt as much like a family reunion, too — because, after all, a core group of Browns control the company through an equity stake worth well north of $6 billion. Garvin Brown, who is 47 and lives mostly in London, was running the meeting as chairman of the board. Seated nearby in Chippendale-style chairs facing the audience were the other 11 directors up for re-election.

This is the story Brown told. He was on a flight from London to Warsaw for a meeting with the Brown-Forman team responsible for the company’s growing business in Poland. Brown had lucked out, scoring one of his favorite seats — aisle, in a roomy exit row — with two empty ones between him and the window. Then a British man, one of the many harried road warriors aboard, arrived to take the window seat. He asked for a Jack Daniel’s, Brown-Forman’s most profitable brand, when the flight attendant rolled the snack cart down the aisle. Here, Brown’s ears perked up.

Jack Daniel's bottleBut the airline was all out. Would the Brit settle for another brand of whiskey, the attendant asked, perhaps a Johnnie Walker? Nope, he replied, and asked for a glass of champagne instead. As Brown pointed out to the audience, here was a man so loyal to Jack Daniel’s, he’d sooner drink airline champagne than just any other whiskey.

That’s how Brown eased the stockholders into a more formal presentation by CEO Paul Varga, who deployed many bar charts and fever graphs showing return on shareholder equity over one year, five years, and 20 years — important stuff, to be sure, but not quite as compelling as Brown’s literally on-the-fly market research.

By this point, Brown had already dispatched Continue reading “Changing of the family guard: At Brown-Forman’s annual meeting, the ordinary was actually extraordinary”

The only $345 men’s swim shorts you’ll need this summer at Lakeside Swim Club. (Unless you want to spend $595)

Boulevard is always on the prowl for cool, locally available products that set Louisville apart. But every now and then, we run across an item so achingly beautiful, we break my solo-local rule. For the first time, here’s one:

British clothing company Orlebar Brown’s signature Bulldog mid-length swim shorts. They’re the latest in a collection based on society photographer Slim Aarons‘ pool photos taken in the 1960s and ’70s in Palm Beach, the Riviera, and other resorts made famous by that era’s jet-setters. (Keep reading for more about Aarons.) This pair is from a 1975 photo of the Princess Hotel in Acapulco. It’s $345, not including sales tax.

Each pair is individual, and expertly mapped to work 360° around in extraordinary detail, as you can see in this side view:

Bulldog 2 side

Although I like this model best, there are plenty more to choose from.

About the designer
Adam Brown

Photographer Adam Brown launched Orlebar in London in 2007. It got a big publicity boost in 2012, when producers of that year’s James Bond film Skyfall confirmed star Daniel Craig was wearing Orlebar poolside. You can’t buy any of the company’s clothes locally, unfortunately; the closest retailer is in Birmingham, Ala. (Weird, yes.) Of course, you can mail-order direct from the company.

But here’s what’s truly handy: the lovely Lakeside Swim Club in the Highlands’ Belknap neighborhood. It’s open to members and their guests all summer until 9 p.m.; opening times vary. Operating hours.

Lakeside opened in 1924 at the site of a former rock quarry, according to Wikipedia. It’s known for its steep, 40-foot rock walls and huge quarry “lake” — actually, a 3.2 million gallon swimming pool, with a flat concrete bottom and depths ranging from 3-20 feet:

Looking northwest across Lakeside’s main pool.
About Aarons
$59 at Amazon.

He published his photographs in Town & Country and other society shiny sheets, as well as a series of books. He died in 2006 at 89, following a career made out of what he called “photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.”

Now, if you think your pool photos are even better than Aarons’, Orlebar let’s you design your own suit based on a photo you supply via the company’s #snapshorts app from the Apple and Google Play app stores. But it’ll cost you $595!

Catch 007 wearing Orlebar:

Hello, Gannettoids! Welcome to Boulevard. What are you hearing where you work?

By Jim Hopkins
Boulevard Publisher

Welcome to your virtual watercooler, the spot to post comments about anything work-related affecting The Courier-Journal; the Louisville page production hub; the regional customer service center — or the other 108 newspapers owned by Gannett Co.

Just click on the “leave a comment link,” below. You can use your real name, or post anonymously. But please stay away from personal attacks. Publisher Jim Hopkins will read your comments as fast as possible, then post the best ones here.

Kindred to open new hospital in Tacoma; Amazon’s Q2 beats top and bottom; orange you glad: Taco Bell’s burrito + Cheetos = ‘peak stoner’; and Ford’s stock dives 8% on poor results

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 7:25 p.m.

KINDRED said it would build a 60-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Tacoma, Wash., in a new joint-venture partnership with CHI Franciscan Health. The new hospital will care for adults recovering from stroke, neurological disease, injury to the brain or spinal cord and other long-term illnesses or injuries. The Louisville-based hospital and nursing home giant will manage the day-to-day operations at the new facility. Subject to regulatory and other approvals, Kindred expects the hospital to open by the first quarter of 2018.

In its Seattle market, Kindred already operates two transitional-care hospitals, two nursing centers, two co-located hospital-based sub-acute units, and it provides home health and hospice services. CHI Franciscan is affiliated with Catholic Health Initiatives, the third-largest nonprofit health system in the nation, with operations in 19 states (press release). Kindred has more than 2,200 employees in Louisville, and 102,000 company-wide. More about Kindred.

UPS is considering a $106 million expansion of its ground hub in Lexington (Herald-Leader).

AMAZON: The retailer just reported second-quarter financial results that beat Wall Street’s forecasts on the top and bottom lines. It earned $1.78 a share on sales of $30.4 billion. Analysts were expecting $1.11 EPS on revenue of $29.6 billion, according to FactSet (MarketWatch and press release). The company’s stock rode a roller coaster in extended trading: Shares are now up 2.7%, or $20.34, to $722.

GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt bought 50,000 shares of company stock at $31.45 a share on Tuesday, for a total cost of $673,000 — a bullish sign he thinks the stock may be headed higher (Reuters). Shares closed today at $31.25, barely changed.

Cheetos bagTACO BELL is introducing its latest mash-up experiment, the Cheetos Burrito, mid-August in Cincinnati for $1. This is the second version sold by the Yum unit; it rolled one out last spring, the Cheetos Crunchwrap Slider,  that GrubStreet dismissed as the “height of laziness” (GrubStreet). According to the Orange County Register, it’s a burrito “stuffed with crunchy Cheetos, buttery white rice, seasoned beef and nacho cheese” (Register). We can only imagine how the concoction will taste, muses Uproxx. “Will the Cheetos inside get soggy and soft? Or will they maintain that crunch that everyone loves?” Its verdict is already in: “Peak Stoner” (Uproxx).

FORD‘s stock fell 8.2%, or $1.13, closing at $12.71 a share on weak second-quarter financial results. Revenue totaled $39.49 billion and adjusted earning per share came in at 52 cents, below the FactSet consensus of 60 cents. But that’s a beat on the consensus revenue forecast of $36.31 billion, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters (press release and MarketWatch).

BROWN-FORMAN: How one bourbon distillery makes its handcrafted barrels (

In other news, embattled University of Louisville president James Ramsey agreed to resign yesterday, effective immediately, in a deal with the school’s trustees where he’ll be paid $690,000 in severance, the equivalent of about two years of his university salary only. Provost Neville Pinto will lead the university until a new president is selected.

James Ramsey

Chairman Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman said the board rejected Ramsey’s proposal to serve for up to one year as interim president. Bridgeman indicated that at one point the board considered firing Ramsey, 67, outright (Courier-Journal).

His exit caps a tumultuous period where Gov. Matt Bevin fired the previous board of trustees last month because, he said, it had become too dysfunctional to deal with multiple scandals on Ramsey’s watch.