JEFFERSONVILLE — A new sandwich shop is now offering quick breakfast and lunch options in downtown Jeffersonville after facing delays in opening the business due to the pandemic.
Close Enough Cafe officially opened last Thursday at 250 Spring St. The business is owned by Chris Palmer and Daniel Mahony, who also own the neighboring The Alcove and Bad Cat Boutique on Spring Street.
The business offers both hot and cold sandwiches and coffee, and for brunch, customers can enjoy alcoholic beverages such as Bloody Mary cocktails and mimosas.
The owners have been trying to open the business for several years, and they were planning a grand opening for March of 2020. When the COVID-19 shutdown occurred, plans quickly changed.
The business plan has gone through various iterations and chefs that have all contributed to the “amazing vision” of the sandwich shop, Palmer said. At one point during the pandemic, the space was even used as a “secondary bar” for The Alcove.
“We wouldn’t have been able to make it this far if not for the customers at the bar,” he said. “They really helped us through everything, and we’re so, so excited to finally open the cafe to the public.”
Palmer’s wife, Rachel Klein-Palmer, manages Close Enough Cafe with Alli Nolan. They have built the business from “the ground up,” Klein-Palmer said.
“We knew that downtown Jeff needed like a grab-and-go kind of sandwich place,” she said. “So people come in, they get a quick bite and they can go back to their office jobs or whatever. That’s kind of the business model we were trying to run with.”
Like The Alcove, Palmer aims to provide an inclusive, comfortable space at Close Enough Cafe “a little off the beaten path and a little off the norm,” Palmer said.
They wanted to offer an “alternative option to some of the heavier lunch options in the area,” he said.
Many of the condiments and sides offered at Close Enough Cafe are house-made, including an olive dip based on a recipe from Palmer’s mother.
For Palmer, one of the highlights of the menu is the “spoofuletta,” a take on the classic muffuletta sandwich of New Orleans. The sandwich features tapenade, provolone, salami, ham, pepperoni and parmesan aioli on house-made focaccia, and it was inspired by his experience living in New Orleans before moving to the Louisville area.
The menu also includes vegetarian options, including one featuring cheddar, muenster, provolone, eggplant, roasted red peppers and parmesan aioli.
For breakfast, some of the options include a pimento sandwich with pickles, eggs and ham served on a bagel, a “breakfast brie” sandwich with jam, apples, honey and pecans on a croissant and a traditional bagel sandwich with bacon, egg and cheddar.
Close Enough Cafe features a variety of coffee options, including nitro cold brew on tap with flavors such as caramel, mocha and French vanilla.
“We love our friends and family all along downtown Jeff, like Pearl Street Game & Coffee House, so we definitely don’t want to take away any business from them with the coffee aspect, so we’re not touching the espresso or the steamed milk or anything, but we do have some alternative flavors and coffee options,” Klein-Palmer said.
It’s been a long wait to get the business up and running, she said.
“It’s been awesome. It’s been a lot of fun, and it’s really come together more easily than I think we all expected it to,” she said. “We do have an awesome following with all of our friends and family based on the other businesses that have been open prior to Close Enough Cafe, so everyone has been really supportive of the concept.”
The cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.