Everything about the Four Pegs Smokehouse and Bar screams ‘a crazy good time will be had here!’ and that includes the logo, website and social media feeds. And no doubt, that is the feeling that owner, chef and pit master Chris Williams is going for. Located at 1053 Goss Ave. in the Germantown neighborhood of Louisville, Williams laughingly describes his eatery as an “upscale local dive bar” that specializes in barbeque, cocktails and craft beer that supports local and regional brewers.
Williams’ recent growth was made possible by the Small Business Administration’s 504 Loan Program, which provides long-term, fixed rate financing of up to $5 million for major fixed assets that promote business growth and job creation. 504 Loans are available through Certified Development Companies like Community Ventures, community-based partners who regulate nonprofits and promote economic development within their communities. Williams worked with Community Ventures to secure a loan to purchase the building for his own restaurant.
“Since I was 16 years old and working for others in the restaurant industry, I have always wanted to run my own restaurant,” Williams said. “I’ve worked in the business, so I knew how hard it would be. But I figured if I followed my dream it would be worth it in the end.”
Williams found a realtor and began the search for the perfect place to launch that dream. It was that same realtor that pointed the budding businessman to Community Ventures for the loan needed to purchase the building. In March of 2019, Four Pegs opened its doors with just 4 employees and despite the Covid consequences of 2020, Williams now manages a staff of 20 along with food trucks, a catering business and a line of merch—both edible and non.
Of course, all that isn’t as easy as Williams makes it look. Four Pegs is open 11 a.m.-midnight through the week and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends, and Williams is there for most of those hours and more.
“I get here early to smoke the meat. I manage the employees and I love to meet the guests,” explained Williams. And the business is definitely a family affair. According to Williams, his wife is the unofficial HR person and helps out with all the events while his mother—a former accountant—handles most of the finances.
The historic building that houses Four Pegs has for its 150 years in existence been home to various mercantile establishments, watering holes and yes, other restaurants. The Four Pegs menu boasts a variety of innovative smoked meat dishes and sandwiches all elevated from their down-home roots. And the libations are no different—in addition to wine and the daily offerings of craft beer, Williams has created inventive signature cocktails that beg to be tried by the adventurous.
While Williams grew up in the Crescent Hills area of Louisville, his family now lives in Germantown not far from Four Pegs. Community is extremely important to the Williams family, and indeed a lot of locals are regulars at the establishment. “We really try to focus on taking care of the neighborhood and giving back as much as we can. We gave away 1000 meals during the pandemic.”
For more information on SBA Loans that Community Ventures can offer to your business, please contact Lynn Littrell, Senior Vice President for Commercial Lending at email@example.com.