Fans of the old Baxter Station Bar & Grill at 1201 Payne St. must have been disheartened for the last year or so as they drove by the once-popular watering hole and eatery to see intermittent renovations largely stopped and the building boarded up. But a recent flurry of new construction activity promises a late summer opening of Ciao, an Italian restaurant on the anchor corner on the border between the Highlands and Irish Hill.

An article by David Mann in Louisville Business First  reported that the long delays in finishing the renovations were occasioned by a glitch in the zoning for the property, which was resolved late last spring. Owners Jesse Francis and Fred Pizzonia have brought in Luigi Gelsomini, who runs Luigi’s Pizzeria & Pasta on Main St. to operate the new restaurant.

According to Mann, Ciao will have a modern, eclectic atmosphere, and be open for lunch and dinner, with dishes at moderate price levels. Francis and Pizzonia turned to Gelsomini for his restaurant experience, and the fact that his downtown restaurant does not serve dinner, making him available in the evenings.

The restaurant will have a completely new kitchen, and extensive interior upgrades.