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Bourbon Bar - Try the Best Bars of Bourbon Country, Bar None

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In many places, a bar stocked with more than a dozen bourbons could be considered “a bourbon bar,” but not in Louisville, not in Bourbon Country.

The city’s bourbon heritage dates back to 1774 and continues to evolve to this day. One of the most exciting evolutions is the growth of restaurants celebrating bourbon in their cuisine, cocktails, décor and on the bar shelf. Many of the stops along the Urban Bourbon Trail exude a sense of history and connection to bourbon, while others put their own modern twist on America’s only native spirit.

Yes, they have at least 50 bourbons on the bar, some as many as 170, but it’s the stories, atmosphere, food and well-trained staff that set them apart.

Urban Bourbon Trail Founding Members

UBT Founding Member 2013 Six locally owned and operated bars and restaurants have been proud members of the Urban Bourbon Trail since its inception in 2008. Those include:

The Bar at BLU

280 W. Jefferson St.
502.671.4285
www.blugrille.com
For a modern Louisville experience, step into a fresh new space of contemporary design at BLU. Sample 60+ bourbons from the “Wall of Bourbon” or try one or more of the bourbon tasting flights.

Bourbons Bistro

2255 Frankfort Ave.
502.894.8838
www.bourbonsbistro.com
Marty Rosen from the Courier-Journal says “Even in the land of bourbon, where massive catalogs of whiskey are the pride of many bars, Bourbons Bistro stands out as one of the key destinations on Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail."

Brown Hotel Lobby Bar

335 W. Broadway
502.583.1234
www.brownhotel.com
It’s easy to let your imagination take you back to another era as you sip an Old Fashioned in the lavish lobby bar of the Brown Hotel, which Southern Living described as “straight from a 1930s movie set.”

Maker’s Mark Bourbon House & Lounge

446 S. 4th St.
502.568.9009
www.makerslounge.com
Despite the Maker’s Mark moniker, this eclectic restaurant and lounge located in Louisville’s vibrant Fourth Street Live! entertainment district, features a 57-foot bar with a wall of backlit, alphabetically arranged bourbon bottles of many brands.

The Old Seelbach Bar

500 S. 4th St.
502.585.3200
www.seelbachhilton.com
Opened in 1905, the Seelbach Hotel has hosted gangsters, politicians, and celebrities for generations. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Seelbach’s gilded-era luxury served as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s inspiration for The Great Gatsby, and the hotel’s Oakroom restaurant was a favorite hangout of Al Capone.

Proof on Main

702 W. Main St.
502.217.6360
www.proofonmain.com
Located in downtown’s 21c Museum Hotel, Proof on Main features a diverse selection of Kentucky’s finest bourbons. Named one of three American “New Whiskey Temples” by GQ , Proof offers a library of small batch and single barrel bourbon as well as proprietary bourbon selections.



The Bars & Restaurants of the Urban Bourbon Trail

Over the years, additional local bars and restaurants have stepped up their bourbon knowledge and offerings and joined the ranks of the Urban Bourbon Trail. Although newer to the trail, they include well-established favorites to places that have been open at least one year. Those include:

Asiatique

1767 Bardstown Rd.
502-451-2749
www.asiatiquerestaurant.com
Nestled in the city’s original restaurant row, Asiatique offers a bourbon experience with a unique Eastern flair. Asiatique offers a Pacific Rim-style twist on the state’s signature drink. Backlit bourbon bottles greet you upon entry — part of a contemporary minimalist zen design.

 


 
 

Bristol Bar & Grille – Downtown

614 W. Main St.
502.582.1995
www.bristolbarandgrille.com
Winner of more “Best of Louisville” awards than any other local restaurant, the Bristol features an assortment of dishes highlighting local farmers and their famous, local favorite – green chili wontons with guacamole.

Bristol Bar & Grille – Highlands

1321 Bardstown Rd.
502.456.1702
www.bristolbarandgrille.com
This original Bristol Bar & Grille opened on Bardstown Road in the heart of the Highlands in September 1977, and it quickly became a favorite local dining destination and a favorite place to drink fine bourbon.

Buck’s

425 W. Ormsby
502-637-5284
www.buckslou.com
Set among the stately Victorian mansions of Old Louisville, be one with the bourbon at the only bar adorned with bottles within arm’s reach. Check the chalkboard at Buck’s for each week’s bourbon feature offered at a special price.

Charr’d Bourbon Kitchen and Lounge

1903 Embassy Square Blvd.
502.491.1184
www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-information/restaurant/sdfls-louisville-marriott-east
From the food to the décor, Charr’d is truly bourbon inspired. The restaurant features local and regional ingredients harvested in Bourbon Country and serves it in a classy dining room inspired by bourbon barrels and limestone.
Charr'd_2013

Derby Cafe: at the Kentucky Derby Museum

704 Central Ave.
502.634.0858
www.derbycafe.com
The Café uses an array of Kentucky Proud food items and Kentucky’s finest bourbon dishes including country ham wontons with bourbon mustard, bourbon vinaigrette over a southern bibb salad, bourbon brisket of beef and out-of-this-world bread pudding with bourbon sauce.
Derby_Cafe_July_2013.jpg

Dish on Market

434 W. Market St.
502.315.0669
www.dishonmarket.com
Dish on Market is a value-based neighborhood bar offering everything from Truman’s Breakfast (the President liked a shot of bourbon with his daily egg) to the #1 burger in the city (LEO Readers Choice Awards).

Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar

127 W. Main St.
502.587.1626
www.doccrows.com
Doc Crow’s name is a nod to the Scottish-born physician responsible during the mid-19th century for scientific advances that gave greater spirit consistency in the American whiskey industry. Most notable was his refinement of the “sour mash” process.

Harvest

624 E. Market St.
502.384.9090
www.harvestlouisville.com
At least 80% of Harvest’s food is sourced from farmers and growers within a 100-mile radius of the city. These are not just ordinary farmers…these are people who are custodians of the country side, people who are committed to sustainable farming practices and impeccable standards of animal welfare.
Harvest_2013

Haymarket Whiskey Bar

331 E. Market St.
502.442.0523
www.haymarketwhiskeybar.com
The Haymarket Whiskey Bar is a great place to imbibe, enjoy a band or play vintage pinball. The Haymarket is the only “dive bar” in downtown Louisville to feature more than 75 bourbons, 100 whiskeys, 50 craft beers and a full menu of signature house cocktails.
Haymarket_2013

Lilly’s

1147 Bardstown Rd.
502.451.0447
www.lillyslapeche.com
Located in the Highlands neighborhood, Lilly’s has been a part of the Louisville dining scene for more than 25 years. Kathy Cary’s, head chef and owner, great-grandfather was responsible for beginning local brand, Kentucky Tavern, and her bourbon heritage is reflected in the menu.

Lillys_2013

Marketplace Restaurant

651 S. 4th St.
502.625.3001
www.theatersquaremarketplace.com
Southern comfort food meets Italian flair and live jazz in an eclectic atmosphere. Located in downtown Louisville, Marketplace Restaurant emphasizes fresh local ingredients and the highest quality meats and seafood.
Marketplace_Restuarant_2013

Ramsi’s Cafe on the World

1293 Bardstown Rd.
502-451-0700
www.ramsiscafe.com
Son of the only female liquor store owner in Jerusalem, Ramsi brings his international perspective and world flavors to Bourbon Country. In the center of Louisville’s quaint, yet hip, Highlands neighborhood is Ramsi’s Café on the World, a local favorite for 20 years with an extensive bar and late night hours.

The Silver Dollar

1761 Frankfort Ave.
502.259.9540
www.whiskeybythedrink.com
Featuring over 100 Kentucky bourbons, ryes, and a proprietary barrel program. The Silver Dollar has whiskey that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, and every whiskey in the house is available in a tasting pour.
Silver_Dollar_2013

St. Charles Exchange

113 S. 7th St.
502.618.1917
www.stcharlesexchange.com
Patrons of St. Charles enjoy cocktails and fine dining with a menu featuring seasonal variations of Southern classics. The beverage program celebrates over 50 types of locally distilled bourbons while focusing on a lengthy list of cocktails that showcase the art of a fine, mixed drink.
St_Charles_2013

Varanese

2106 Frankfort Ave.
502.899.9904
www.varanese.com
Once home to a service station in the mid-1950’s, Varanese’s building has been renovated into an elegant, upscale casual restaurant with a 25-foot slate water wall and an all-season patio enclosed with a serpentine of glass doors which can be retracted during nice weather.
Varanese_2013.jpg

Vernon Club

1575 Story Ave.
502.584.8460
www.vernonclub.com
The Vernon was a mansion built in the Butchertown neighborhood in 1886. In 1936, what is now the oldest bowling alley in Louisville and the oldest active bowling alley in the United States was built onto the back.
Vernon_2013.jpg

The Village Anchor Pub & Roost

11507 Park Rd
502.708.1850
www.villageanchor.com
The four-star-rated Village Anchor restaurant, and its lower-level sister pub The Sea Hag, resemble an open-air beach house accented with industrial fans and heaters to offer year-round alfresco dining on its three patios and iron-clad lanai.

Vincenzo’s Italian Restaurant

150 S. 5th St.
502.580.1350
www.vincenzositalianrestaurant.com
Chef Agostino especially enjoys cooking many of his favorite Italian dishes with Bourbon, and has been known to whip up special “off the menu” Bourbon-enhanced entrees. So, be sure to ask the Chef about these when you visit, and have your Bourbon the Italian way – straight up!

Vincenzos_2013.jpg

Volare Ristorante

2300 Frankfort Ave.
502.894.4446
www.volare-restaurant.com
Chef Josh Moore presents farm-to-table menus of modern Italian cuisine served with Southern Hospitality that celebrate the season’s bounty from locally sourced products and produced from his own, 10-acre farm in Taylorsville, Kentucky.

Volare_2013.jpg

The “Urban Bourbon Trail” mark is being used with the permission of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. The Kentucky Distillers’ Association, its member distilleries and the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau ask that you please enjoy Kentucky Bourbon responsibly. You must be 21 to participate in the Urban Bourbon Trail passport program.