Think Louisville is for gamblers and bourbon drinkers? You’d be right. But there’s more to the gem of a city than meets the eye: comfort food, fledgling design, and good ol’ Southern hospitality.
We asked Louisville native Amalie Drury, the gal behind Chicago Mag’s The Chaser, why she loves the city — and why she thinks you need to visit now.
Get your snooze and art fix in one: 21c. “It’s the coolest hotel in America,” Drury says. The boutique hotel doubles as a contemporary art museum touting curated exhibits solely from 21st-century artists.
The hotel restaurant/bar, Proof on Main, serves bourbon flights and upscale Southern cuisine (bison carpaccio, country ham-wrapped pork chop).
Drury’s sister, Claire, and biz partner Jennifer Lee own the Peacock Boutique, a supremely hip, Barneys Co-Op-meets-Helen Yi shop on Frankfurt Avenue in Crescent Hill (think Bucktown). Shop Jay Godfrey, Catherine Malandrino, and Rachel Roy while sipping on rare Kentucky bourbon from Taste Fine Wine & Spirits, conveniently located in the same building.
Stroll a bit farther down Frankfurt, and you’ll find Blue Dog Bakery & Cafe. “It’s the place to have lunch. The soups are out of control, and they bake the bread themselves,” Drury says. Then swing by vintage shop Elizabeth’s Timeless Attire. Owner Elizabeth Schaaf travels to Paris multiple times a year for finds.
Downtown, on Market Street, hit Scout for furniture, home accessories, and unexpected knickknacks. Go to Flow for edgy, quality jewelry.
If the Violet Hour guys drink there, you know it’s good. That place would be Nach Bar in Germantown (969 Charles Street, at Krieger Street; 502-637-4377). “It’s where the hillbilly hipsters hang out.” Expect bluegrass music, beards, and good beer.
Drury says the dudes themselves have also been spotted at 732 Social, a pre-Prohibition cocktail joint.
“I suggest getting yourself a KFC two-piece chicken dinner and picnicking at Cave Hill off Bardstown Road. That’s so Louisville,” Drury says. The beautifully eerie cemetery houses everyone from Civil War veterans to Colonel Sanders. It also happens to have one of the more impressive rare tree collections in the U.S. If you want something more lively (ha), grab a pizza from nearby Impellizzeri’s and take it to Cherokee Park.