Here’s where you can go eat, drink, and enjoy Louisville. I’m sure I left out a place or two, so just email me to remind me, and if you know of any cool places I should check out, just let me know. Thanks – Bernie
Whether you’re visiting Louisville for Bourbon tours, or just visiting, this is a vibrant city with a lot of great things going on. You just have to know where, when and what nights to go. As a Louisvillian, (or Indiuckian) that prides myself on my city, this is where I go, and where I’d suggest anyone to go here in town on certain nights.
When you’re planning your trip, keep in mind that there are bourbon tastings at each distillery, so getting a tour company to drive and remove that worry is the way to go. There are several good tour companies. Mint Julep Experiences has been around the longest specializing in the Bourbon Trail and crafting a tailored trip for you whether you need an SUV for a few people, or a bus for 22 people. check out their website at; www.mintjuleptours.com and call them direct at 502-583-1433. They also offer tours of the distilleries in Tennessee through their Nashville location.
Most all the major downtown hotels have a great bourbon bar, and you can check out the Urban Bourbon Trail for a complete list of places to visit that are guaranteed to have at least 50 bourbons on the back bar to choose from. Their website is www.bourboncountry.com
But here are some suggestions from my personal experience. I’ve broken it down by areas of town. No place on the list is more than just a few miles away from downtown hotels, which means you can take a Lyft or Uber and to most any of these places between 5 and 15 minutes! You can of course use the google machine to look up menus and prices before you go, so I don’t go in to that sort of detail here.
Not all these places have a big bourbon selection, but most all will have one that you like I’m sure. I’ve also listed the ones that are Certified Bonded Premises, which means that Heaven Hill Distillery and myself have certified that they carry every bottled in bond spirt available in the state of Kentucky. That’s about 22 Bottled In Bond offerings…If you don’t know what that is, visit my website at www.whiskeyprof.com for articles there.
Today there are 1,400 craft distilleries in the country now, and 10 major distilleries there are probably 4,000 different whiskey brands and offerings in the U.S. today. Of those 4,000 whiskey brands, there are probably about 25 bottled in bond…and at Heaven Hill we proudly make 10 of those! So I call bottled in bond the “Eagle Scouts” of spirits; The “Navy Seal’s” of spirits; so why wouldn’t you want every single one?
PACE YOURSELVES: In Louisville you have to pace yourselves because the bars are open ‘til 4am every night, so it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy Louisville y’all! We are glad you are here.
Groups Coming to Louisville
We have created this document for Heaven Hill Team Members that are bringing in groups to Kentucky. There are SO many options on how to plan a trip here and we have more accounts that have opened because of the Bourbon Tourism (Bourbonism we call it here). We would like you to know the existing accounts that are good partners, and others we are working to become better partners, and that can all be accomplished with us all being ambassadors from our company. If we send you to an account that does not have a lot of PODs in them, know that your being in that account and leaving a business card and announcing your patronage for the brands we DO have there will be going a long way to get those needed On-Premise PODs. Also, they might have been a good Heaven Hill customer in the past, and we need to get the business back, so this will help. So hopefully this document helps you in your planning a trip to Kentucky with your guests.
Step 1 – Getting Your Hotel
Of course there is the Downtown Marriott and the Omni (National Sales Meeting venues), 21c Museum Hotel, Courtyard Marriott, Residence Inn, and Galt House Hotel and they are great. But if you want to share the wealth and help us get more coverage, here are some great suggestions that are also nearby
Whiskey Row (EWBE Adjacent)
The Grady – 601W. Main Street –A Boutique Hotel that’s only a couple years old directly diagonally across the street from the EWBE. Nice bar in the basement. $289 to $329/night.
Distil – 101 W Main St – Marriott Property with Moxy Hotel connected to it too. Distil has the Restaurant and Bar called Repeal in it, and this seems to be one of the main hotels that many distilleries use to put people up in. $225 and up depending on when you book. This property can be up to $400 a night.
Moxy 100 Washington St. (directly behind Distil) – It’s a Moxy and also Marriott a property. Moxy is an Italian word that means “small room” but they’re nice and easier on the budget and in the a great location. $137 and up.
Aloft – 102 W. Main St. – Right across the street from Distil Hotel – Aloft is part of Marriott and this one is starting to show some wear, but great location and is pretty nice still. Rates are $131 and up.
A Couple Cool Alternatives for Lodging:
Bed And Bike – 822 E. Market – (The Heart of NuLu) – bedandbike.com – Louisville’s first and only BikeBnB.
JTS Brown Mansion – There’s one air bnb in Old Louisville that needs to be highlighted, and that is the 11,000 sq foot mansion that was J.T.S. Brown’s home! Yes, THAT J.T.S.Brown from the bourbon in the movie “The Hustler”, and “The Color Of Money”. One warning, there isn’t a lot to do around there but you’re only about two miles or so from the center of town or NuLu. If you want a place that can sleep a couple dozen folks and still have room left over and stay in this historic mansion dripping with bourbon history and ghosts, this would be for you. They have their own facebook page which is: JTS Brown Mansion, Old Louisville or search for Bourbon Big Shot Mansion on Airbnb.com.
Glamping More Your Style?
Progress Park Airstream Resort & Event Center – 502-494-4002 www.progressparkky.com email@example.com High End glamping/event venue on 12 acres with a lake. Stay overnight in decked out Airstreams and cabins, or rent out the entire venue.
Accounts in Whiskey Row
Expo – 114 W Main Street – This is a dive cocktail bar. No juke box, no TV’s, just great cocktails and all $12 or less. Their House Old Fashioned is $5 and made with Mellow Corn. You can order a “Lubby” which is a Paloma with Mellow Corn (named after Bernie Lubbers). The owners also produce Camp Runamok and Portland Cocktail Week. Expo is a Certified Bonded Premises account C.B.P. KY – 114. Not great for groups over 6. They make great cocktails and are pretty darn quick about it, but it will overload them with large groups. Great Partners.
Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen – 122 W. Main St – affordable bites, tacos and other quick and easy and good solid food. Great bourbon selection and they also have Live Music on many nights. They are Certified Bonded C.B.P. KY – 114. This can be ok for groups up to 10 or so. Great Partners
Justins’ House Of Bourbon 101 W. Market – High End Vintage Bourbon Bottle Shoppe. This is a tourists and bourbon collectors dream, and might as well be a bourbon museum, but it’s all for sale! Justins’ is a Certified Bonded Premises, C.B.P. KY – 101, and their biggest sellers are JW Dant, and JTS Brown since most tourists don’t have those bourbons in their markets and it is still affordable even in this high end store. Not great for large groups, so 6 or less.
Louisville Comedy Club – 110 W. Main Street – If you’re looking for a laugh or two, the Comedy Club is next door to Expo.
No. 15 – 121 W. Main St – Live music and entertainment venue. Kind of a national type of an account. Has Rittenhouse Rye and some Deep Eddy, but tough place to work with.
Dinner/Food Whiskey Row Area
Side Bar – 129 N 2nd St. – premium burgers, and great bourbon selection, and lots of Heaven Hill choices. Good for lunch and dinner. Can have up to 10 folks or so in your group.
Doc Crow’s – 127 W. Main – We have been sending groups to this account (and for good reason) for years, and it’s a great place for larger groups. C.B.P. KY – 127! (We own this block on BIB!!!) Oysters, and BBQ! Great Partners.
Bearno’s By The Bridge – 131 W Main St. on the corner. Pizza place, and keep watching this place, it’s a changin’ up over the next year.
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse – 325 W Main St in front of the Galt House Hotel – Punitively Expensive Steak House. ***Seafood Tower Alert*** (Don’t even think about the seafood tower; it could be your last meal with Heaven Hill). I prefer the locally owned Pat’s Steak House Over Ruby’s or Morton’s (which is a block away from the EWBE) or others just for the unique and local experience, but if you want to treat a customer to a cool high end experience bring them to Jeff Ruby’s. Jeff Ruby himself threw O.J. Simpson out of the place one Derby night telling him “You have to leave, we don’t serve murderers here”. So you got to give Mr. Ruby some props.
Black Jockey Lounge – 630 S 4th St. (Across from the Louisville Palace Theater) – Upscale restaurant that honors the black jockeys that rode thoroughbred horses at Churchill Downs and all over the U.S.
Hell or High Water – 112 W. Washington St. – is a seated cocktail bar/speakeasy, so everyone there has their own seat for best possible service therefore reservations are strongly suggested through RESY or at 502-587-3057. Closed Mon/Tuesday.
Against The Grain – 401 E. Main St. in Louisville Slugger Field (Across from Angels Envy – This is a brewery and they make the beer and the BBQ right there on site. They call themselves a Smokehouse classic with a unique twists. The Pork Belly kabobs are awesome by the way.
Meta – 425 W Chestnut St- The first real cocktail only bar opened in Downtown Louisville by Jeremy Johnson (the guy that made Jello shots out of his allocation of Pappy Van Winkle).
Third Street Dive – 442 S. Third St. – Dive bar in downtown. Pretty darn good beer and bourbon selection though. Karaoke, pool table. Sometimes it gets a little heavy metal in the music department, but it’s a real dive bar in the heart of downtown.
Hotel Genevieve – 730 E Market St – Directly across from the AC Hotel. Rooms are $170 a night if you get them on the cheap. Restaurant, a Speakeasy, Roof Top bar, the Genevieve is one of the newest properties in town, and Dana and I have been several times and always enjoyed it and taking friends and clients there. $144 to $304 a night.
AC Hotel – 727 E Market – Marriott Property right in the heart of NuLu and next door to the always popular bar Taj! $149 and up.
On-Premise Accounts in Nulu
Taj – 807 E. Market – Kenny runs the place, and Chris and others are behind the Bar. Great selection of bourbon, good prices, and just a chill neighborhood bar in the heart of bourbon tourist area. Popular Karaoke night outside.
Gertie’s – 821 E. Market St. – Bourbon Bar with nice speakeasy in the basement (not always open). Deli type place up front. Not the best set up for large groups.
West 6th Beer Garden – Right Behind Gertie’s is the West 6th Brewery with a pizza place and couple other places to eat. Good for large groups since there are several food and shopping options.
High Horse – 1032 Story Ave – Just down the street some ¼ mile or so from Taj, is this service industry Honky Tonk hangout during happy hour and some nights. They have live music on many nights.
Vernon Lanes – 1575 Story Ave – An old neighborhood 8 Lane Bowling Alley. Can bowl, eat/drink. They have dinner, but it’s nothing fancy, but it’s a good time. Bruce is one of the owners and runs the place, and the staff is real nice. This is a better place for larger groups of like 10 or 12.
Tartan House – 1027 E Main St – With the name “Tartan” they are Scotch heavy bar with Bourbon and other cocktails. Cozy spot that feels more like a neighborhood bar at the entrance to NuLu.
Dinner/Lunch In NuLu
Guaca Mole – 900 E. Market St. – Mexican place, high volume. They can handle larger groups.
Feast BBQ – 909 E. Market St. – Order at the counter and then they bring it out to ya. If you like a casual and quicker place to eat, this place is great. Decent bar but we could look better here.
Lou Lou On Market – 812 E Market – New Orleans fare. Cool basement bar with live Jazz on Monday nights, and some weekends the John Smart Quartet plays!
Dinner In NuLu
Nami Modern Korean Steakhouse – 835 E Main St – Renowned Chef Edward Lee’s newest place with his modern take on Korean cuisine.
Bar Vetti – 727 E Market St inside the AC Hotel – Upscale Italian Restaurant –(which means over-priced Spaghetti and meat sauce) But it’s pretty good and it’s right there if you’re staying at the AC or in the block and then you’re close to several spots and don’t even have to get a Lyft or Uber.
Meesh Meesh – 636 E Market – Mediterranean/Israeli cuisine
Food A Little Further Out
Pat’s Steakhouse – 2437 Brownsboro Rd. – 502-893-2062 – A locally owned and operated staple, inside an old stage coach stop. Pat butchers the meat each day himself. Now this is NOT Morton’s or Jeff Ruby’s. Think like that old steakhouse that your salad will have the imprint of the salad that was on top of it in the walk-in from the morning! It’s OLD SCHOOL, and you’ll either LOVE it or hate it, but the steaks are great and they have the best Fried Chicken in town. You can also get a frozen Grasshopper or Brandy Alexander for a dessert drink!
Le Moo – 2300 Lexington Rd. 502-458-8888 – (About 12-15 minutes from downtown) – High End Swanky Steak House and gaudy. It looks like it should be in Las Vegas. They also do regular weekend and other popular Drag Brunch’s. I know this sounds progressive for Louisville, but hey, Louisville is a dynamic and progressive city and we do have a couple MILLION tourists coming from all over the world. This place is great for either Lunch or Dinner. Lunch is fairly affordable, but dinner gets pricey, and Seafood Tower Alert here, and Wagyu Tomahawk Alert too!
Frankfort Avenue Liquors – 2115 Frankfort Ave – This is a cool new concept for Louisville anyway. Frankfort Ave Liquors is also an On-Premise great bar too inside the liquor store with Live Music on many nights too. The Bottled in Bond Boys have played here, and they are also a Certified Bonded Premises C.B.P. KY – 2115.
Varanese – 2106 Frankfort Avenue – More upscale but casual, Chef John Varanese also owns the River House too. Good Heaven Hill partners and Conor and Dana and I do regular bourbon dinners here.
August Moon – 2269 Lexington Rd. – 2269 Lexington Rd. – Longtime mainstay for Asian Cuisine. Nice bar, and we look pretty darn good here. Lunch/Dinner
Red Hog Restaurant & Butcher Shop – 2622 Frankfort Ave – this is Conor O’ Driscoll’s favorite spot for lunch or dinner. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, this place isn’t for you. They have house butchered meats that top their menu. Craft beer here. Small groups better here of 4 or less.
Spring Street Tavern – 300 S. Spring St – Neighborhood Casual Fare – Good partners, same owners as High Horse Tavern and The Corridor. Lunch/Dinner
Bourbon’s Bistro – 2255 Frankfort Ave – Voted the Best Bourbon Bar in the world in 2023 by Whiskey Magazine, Bourbon’s has been open since 2005, and that was before the boom, so they had the early vision. One of the best pork chops in the city (the other one is at Jack Fry’s) Great Bourbon selection, and their House Bourbon is JW Dant. They have a private dining room you can reserve for larger groups upstairs, or you can dine in the main room or patio with groups up to 10. They’re a Certified Bonded Premises, C.B.P. KY – 2255.
Grassa Gramma – 2210 Holiday Manor Center – 502-333-9595 Out 20 – 25 minutes from downtown – Italian Restaurant with same owner as Le Moo. This place is gaudy as hell and looks like it should be on the Vegas Strip, but it’s good. And we look pretty good in it too. Dinner.
Mellwood Tavern – 1801 Brownboro Rd – Tuesday and Thursday night they have Fried Chicken Night. Scottie owns and runs the joint and fries chicken on Tues/Thursday, but once they run out, they’re done. Get there around 5pm and can’t handle groups over 5 or 6 if you want chicken and sides. Live Music many nights and on Sunday afternoon they have an outdoor stage with a music festival feel. Dinner, opens at 4pm.
River House Restaurant and Raw Bar – 3015 River Road – Elevated American fare ( so that means it’s expensive, and Seafood Tower Alert here, so careful, Don’t Do it!). Right on the Ohio River, so good views, and also this place is good for accommodating larger groups and you can reserve a private dining room too.
Captain’s Quarters – 5700 Captains Quarters Rd (Off River Road a couple miles from River House) – The food is, OK. Just OK, but it’s right on the Ohio River and Harrod’s Creek, so it’s cool people watching and Boat and Barge watching. You can reserve a dinner and cruise for your group on the CQ Princess Boat. This place is perfect for small or larger groups. Live music many nights.
Myriad Hotel – 900 Baxter Ave – Common Bond Hotel Collection – This is a former disco ball factory that made almost every disco ball you’ve probably ever seen in every bar you’ve ever been to. Myriad is same owners as Bardstown Motor Lodge in Bardstown. $259 and up. Close to Neat Bourbon Bar and many other accounts like Flanagans, O’ Shea’s and Molly Malone’s, Big Bar and More.
Bellweather Hotel – 1300 Bardstown Rd – $169 and up. Close to The Back Door Bar, Big Bar, Neat Bourbon Bar and others. They boast “Touchless Service” as you use your phone and text if you need anything, but they have a full staff and a nice bar and restaurant on site too.
Bungalou Stay & Play – 1143 Bardstown Rd. Located AT Neat Bourbon Bar and Bottle Shop – Not a hotel but not really Air BnB. Contact bungalou.com Price depends on how many units and nights you stay.
Here are some accounts in the neighborhood of hotels in the Highlands
Epiphany Bar – 1525 Highland Ave – “Farm To Bar” since all the garnishes and juices, etc all come from local farms, and you can buy fresh eggs, and other jams and produce there to take home too! The Bottled In Bond Boys played music here (see the picture) to Celebrate Conor O’ Driscoll’s first BIB Whiskeys hitting the market, and it was such a good turn out there was a line to get in! Best for group of 6 or less. This is also a Certified Bonded Premises C.B.P. KY – 1525.
NEAT Bourbon Bar & Bottle Shop – 1139 Bardstown Rd. Owen and Dani own it, and it’s stocked full of vintage bourbon. So you can try a bourbon from your birth year, or year you got married, etc. This is one bar where you will see many master distillers, ambassadors, and other industry folks entertaining guests. You might just see my 1960 Thunderbird parked out front. His name is Thaddeus Thunderbird. They are connected to BungaLou Stay and Play, so you can stay here with your group if you like. Neat is also a Certified Bonded Premises C.B.P. KY-1139.
Big Bar – 1202 Bardstown Rd. – Kevin owns the place, and this is Heaven Hill’s #1 On-Premise account. Big Bar is in the Gayborhood, but welcomes everyone. Evan Williams is the well, and Lunazul, Deep Eddy, bourbons, etc! Kevin owns the bar, and most likely if you go for Happy Hour you’ll see Brandon, and later on Jake and Zac might be behind the stick.
The Back Door – 1250 Bardstown Rd. behind Mid City Mall – A Louisville staple for over 30 years. The Back Door is dive bar, with good bar food, well not just good bar food, but probably some of the best bar food in town. John Dant owns the bar, and he’s a descendant of J.W. Dant Bourbon’s own Joseph Washington Dant himself! Six pool tables in the back bar area, so chalk your cue up and have at it.
Cool Places In Nearby Germantown
Nord’s Bakery – 2118 S Preston St – Only one of two remaining local bakeries. Donuts, pastries and everything an old neighborhood bakery would carry. There’s no alcohol here, just a good way to start your day, or buy some donuts for the morning after visiting distilleries. ds
Trouble Bar – 1149 S. Shelby – Bourbon Bar owned and operated by women, and named after folks that made “Good Trouble” like Rosa Parks, John Lewis and Louisville’s own Muhammad Ali. The Bottled In Bond Boys have played a happy hour here as you can see from the picture, and it was an epic night celebrating Conor O’Driscoll’s first BIB whiskeys hitting the shelves.
Canary Club – 1247 S. Shelby – cool cocktail bar, and attached to a nice wine and bottle shop, with cheeses, etc. They also have a nice patio out back and an event space upstairs you can rent out too if you have a need for that.
Toasty’s Tavern – 1258 S Shelby – Sandwiches, Smash Burgers, Hot Dogs, plus cocktails. Good neighborhood joint, and when the weather is nice, a nice patio on the side. Not a fancy menu, but good food and this place is best for 6 people or less.
North Of Bourbon – 935 Goss Ave – Because it’s not only North of Bourbon St. in NoLa, it’s also North of the Bourbon Capital of Bardstown. North of Bourbon is small so no groups over 4 people for dinner or drinks. Great selection, and a good partner to Heaven Hill.
Hauch’s Corner – 1000 Goss Ave – This was the general store of the neighborhood, and has been here for over 100 years! This place is designed for bigger groups, and has a great outdoor patio area. Learn about The Dainty Contest that George Hauck started in 1971. Casual fare, and if you’re looking for a good place for Sunday Brunch, their kitchen opens at 11am on Sundays for a nice casual menu.
The Merryweather – 1101 Lydia St. – Cool old bar here which was the former “Flabby’s Bar”. Germantown is just that, German immigrants populated this neighborhood and so there are sometimes 2 or 3 bars every corner here. The Merryweather is a cool place, and if you’re a fan of the game show “Jeopardy” they turn the music down and all the attention goes to the TV’s in the bar and they turn up the sound and the whole bar plays Jeopardy together. They have a rotating kitchen and guest bars bring their food to their kitchen each night.
The Pearl Of Germantown – 1151 Goss Ave – dive bar atmosphere with good cocktails. This is the bar of the former owners of Silver Dollar. This is a popular bar with the service industry crowd.
Kaiju – 1004 E Oak St – This is a Japanese themed dive bar and it’s funky. This is where the younger bohemian type service industry folk go. Feels like a service industry bar you’d come by in San Francisco. If you want a snack, they have Shrimp Chips and some quick put bites here too. Same owners as Dragon Kings Daughter restaurant.
Bernie’s Dive Bar Experience – DO NOT TRY THIS WITH MORE THAN A GROUP OF 4 or 5. Coming in with more than that will definitely overwhelm these small places.
Cool Local Accounts
Wagner’s Pharmacy – 3113 S. 4th Street Across from Churchill Downs – This would be a good option for stopping by before you start your day. Not far from the Interstate to get to Bardstown, and about 12-15 min from the EWBE. They only serve Breakfast and Lunch. Wagner’s is a real pharmacy, but for horses. It’s across from Churchill Downs, so you can get your horse liniment and Lasix prescription and a meal too! The food isn’t all that great, but it’s eggs and sausage and gravy, and that makes it taste better. I mean it’s breakfast right? It’s just a great experience, especially with the track folks coming in and out.
Goodfellas Pizza – 642 Baxter Ave – Just down the street from NuLu Area. Pizza by the slice or order a whole pie – Goodfellas is a good partner and each location has a Bourbon Whiskey Bar called Wiseguys. Locations in Indianapolis, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Covington, Lexington, and this location in Louisville. Great for larger groups, and if you need a quick bite and crunched on time.
Bambi Bar – 2701 Bardstown Rd – (15 min drive from Downtown) – Beth and Paul own the joint. The Bambi Burger is known by everyone in Louisville. Paul has really upped his Chili game there too. The wings are great, and so is the Bratwurst. It is a dive bar. It’s not a bar trying to look like a dive bar, it’s a damn dive bar. This is the bar I have pictured and talk about in my Barber Pole Training. Quality House is their well. They carry Deep Eddy (for Dana especially) and a few of our bourbons. Don’t order cocktails here. Order an Evan Williams on the rocks or Evan and Ginger Ale.
Check’s Café – 1101 E Burnett – you get in line and order at the register, and then they bring the order to your table. So no big groups here. If there’s just you and you and someone else or 2 you can eat here. It’s across from a big Catholic Church here and Germantown neighborhood, so the neighborhood folks call it “St. Checks”. Known for their bowl of chili, and with the Catholic church across the street a good Fried Fish sandwich. If you order the chili they will ask you if you want spaghetti or cheese or onions. Be ready with your answer. Practice while you’re in line. It’s not the Soup Nazi, but it gets busy and they appreciate your preparedness.
Noche – 1838 Bardstown Rd – In the Highlands – Mexican BBQ with classic tacos plus nachos and wings and more. Good Heaven Hill partners, and cool dining room with being an old church is has stained glass and cool atmosphere.
LaChasse – 1359 Bardstown Rd. – French and Spanish delicacies and good cocktails. Isaac is the owner and most likely behind the bar. You can also buy this whole restaurant for $3,000 minimum, so if you have a larger group, this might be an option. Dana can help you with this
Roc Restaurant – 1327 Bardstown Rd. – 502-459-7878. Elevated Italian fare. This place is popular and has a nice bourbon list here with a chic atmosphere and a nice front patio right in the heart of the Highlands.
Dragon Kings Daughter – 1543 Bardstown Rd – Asian Fusion, so my favorite is their Quesadilla. Japan meets Mexico so you can get both Cooked and Veggie Makizushi options, and it’s just all awesome. It’s a cool menu and good food. Reservations are tough here and it’s pop-pop-popular, so 4 people or so in your group would do best here. With Japanese owners and influence, Suntory is on tap here, and we could use some help getting brands in, so keep that in mind and make your presence known that Heaven Hill is supporting them so Dana and Adam and our team can work their talents here.
Darlings – 1765 Bardstown Rd – If you want some Bluecoat Gin, this is a gin heavy account and a nice service industry spot. So if you need a bourbon break, this place is for you. Cool atmosphere, and they do a really good job on cocktails too here. This is also right next door to El Mundo Mexican Restaurant so if you get hungry, you have an option.
Jack Fry’s – 1007 Bardstown Rd. – 502-452-9244 – open since 1933, this is a Louisville native hotspot. You need reservations here anytime, and not good for party over 4, seriously! One of the best pork chops in the city (the other one is at Bourbon’s Bistro). Great Filet and great seafood, and no worries here on a seafood tower, they don’t have one.
Come Back Inn – 909 Swan St – Divey Italian heavy and more comfort food neighborhood restaurant. Good pizza here too. Known for their Italian Beef Sandwich that if you get it and eat it all, you will have to immediately jump in to bed it’s so big and filling.
Shenanigan’s – 1611 Norris Place – Eddie Kupper and his wife Dee own the place. I used to play guitar and sing there before I got in to the bourbon biz! Really good bar food here. Known for their Fried ½ pound Chicken Sandwich, Fried Bologna Sandwich, and I love their Bratwurst there (you get two, so you can split it really) and other delights. (all these menus are online folks).
After Dinner Drinks
Left Field Lounge – 2282 Bardstown Rd. – this is one of Bernie’s regular neighborhood dive bar hang outs. Left Field has those colorful bar regulars with great nick names. You might see St. Louis Joe there, or Railroad Joe, or Reasonable Joe (they’re flush with Joe’s). This is also a good place to watch a ballgame too, and they always have one TV screen on Thoroughbred Horse Racing (it’s a Louisville thing with the Derby here in old school bars).
Highlands Bar & Grill (HBG) – 2280 Bardstown Rd. – Next door to Left Field, so if you get hungry they have good bar food, and it’s a great place to watch a ballgame with many TV screens. Cort and David own the place, and Cort is often behind the bar.
Kern’s Korner (Cash Only here) – Gus is probably behind the bar. Mr. Kern opened the joint in the 1960’s and he used to work with my father at the Falls City Brewing Company. This is a SMALL place, so don’t come in with 10 people and push yourselves around. It’s a place to go if it’s just you or you and someone else. We could use some help here getting more placements, so if you pop in for one keep in mind this is a work in progress, so be kind and professional. They have great chili too and burgers.
Bardstown, KY – HHBE Area Accounts
Toogie’s Table – 418 E Stephen Foster Ave – (Across from My Old Kentucky Home) – Classic dishes plus historical dishes of this restaurant named after the former proprietor Miss Toogie. $21 to $38 entrées. The fried chicken is great. There’s a great cozy bar upstairs too. This is also part of the Bardstown Motor Lodge, so if you want to stay over night, you can.
Bardstown Burger – 126 N. 3rd St – Great burgers, and a quicker option if you’re crunched on time. Order at the counter and then they bring it out. Small place, but tables for 4-6 people. Good for small or larger groups. This is one of my go-to’s in Bardstown, especially when I only have 20 minutes or so to grab a bite to eat.
Mammy’s Kitchen – 116 W. Stephen Foster Ave – Home cookin’ like Hot Browns, Fried Bologna Sandwiches, Burgers, Fried Pickles, so you get the idea. This place is usually packed for lunch and dinner, so going at off times, or smaller group works best, but they can handle larger groups of like 8 or so, but that’s about it.
Scout & Scholar – 112 W. Flaget St – It’s a local Brew Pub with Smash Burgers, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Bratwurst, etc. We partner with them on their beers aged in our Square 6 Barrels, and this is owned by the folks that build our Rickhouses, and you might see our Artisanal Distiller Jodie Filiatreau there.
Bardstown Bourbon Company Kitchen & Bar – 1500 Parkway Dr – From Burgers to Chicken Sandwiches, to Fried Chicken & Grits and a Catfish Po Boy. This is located at Bardstown Bourbon Company, and it’s just right down the street from the HHBE. The restaurant bar DOES carry Heaven Hill Bourbons and Whiskeys too, so that makes it pretty cool.
Hurst’s Drug Store – 102 N 3rd St – This is like going back in time with Marty McFly and Doc in Back To The Future. This drug store is right on the town circle and it has an old school Soda Fountain in it. So check out this time capsule when you’re in Bardstown and have a milk shake in between distillery visits.
Remember, The 3 downtown bridges are not the Great Wall Of China. There are great accounts just across the bridge from Louisville, so That’s just a mile or two and less than a 10 minute drive. OR you can walk over the Big Four Walking Bridge and you’ll be right there at the Parlour Pizza place, and you can walk to the other accounts. (Then Uber or walk or scooter back).
Parlour Pizza – 131 W Chestnut St, Jeffersonville – large pizza parlour with nice garage bar out back and large outdoor patio.
Union Restaurant & Gameyard – 115 W Chestnut St, Jeffersonville – This is a big place, good for larger groups, and the food is casual and pub food. They have lots of outdoor games you can rent and challenge each other for team building if you like.
Match Cigar Bar – 207 Spring St, Jeffersonville – If you like to smoke cigars with your bourbon, this is your place. It’s like a dive bar of cigar bars, so inside is smokey as hell and they don’t have good ventilation, but they do have a nice large patio out back.
The Alcove – 246 Spring St, Jeffersonville – This is a nice neighborhood bar. Nice patio out back. This neighborhood has exploded the last few years with the walking bridge close by and it’s just stayed the same, and it’s a comfortable place to have a drink at happy hour, or meet up with friends after dinner.
Red Yeti – 256 Spring St, Jeffersonville – Restaurant with classic pub food. Red Yeti has been around a good while, and really is an anchor of the neighborhood and the popularity of Jeffersonville.
The Exchange Pub & Kitchen – 118 W Main St, New Albany – Rustic chic gastropub using area sourced products. This place is solid, and better for larger groups too.
Brooklyn & The Butcher – 148 E Market St, New Albany – “Big Steaks, Small Plates” is their motto, and they have great steaks and other American classics. Nice cocktails too in this former hotel in downtown New Albany.
Parlour Pizza – 2441 State St, New Albany – They have another location over here in New Albany. Good pizza and nice bar too.
Dragon Kings Daughter – 129 W Market St – This is their second location across the river here in New Albany. Asian Fusion, so my favorite is their Quesadilla, so Japan meets Mexico. You can get Cooked and Veggie Makizushi options, and it’s just all awesome. It’s a cool menu and good food.
Bernie’s Local Experience Template– Visiting Two Distilleries In One Day
7AM – Bourbon BootCamp Experience with Jodie Filiatreau and the Evan Williams Distilling Team
Afterwards – Breakfast at Wagner’s Pharmacy or lunch at Bambi Bar
2:30 Bardstown Tour and Tasting
7:30pm – Pat’s Steakhouse in Louisville, or Toogie’s Table while you are in Bardstown
Breakfast at Hotel, or wake up early and get yourself to Wagner’s Pharmacy
9:45am, Depart for Bardstown
11am – Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience – Tours/Tastings.
1:30 – Scout & Scholar or Mammy’s Kitchen for lunch OR if you’re crunched for time, Bardstown Burger
3pm – Distillery Visit To Willett or Bardstown Bourbon Company, or Lux Row
8pm – Come Back Inn for Dinner in Louisville
Breakfast at Hotel Lobby
10am – Distillery Visit
2pm – Distillery Visit
5pm – Back to hotel – Chill, nap, relax.
9pm after dinner drinks – Entertainment
In Bed by 11pm or Midnight