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Located off the lobby of the Seelbach, this bar offers over forty bourbons, expertly mixed cocktails, and heavenly desserts like the Warm Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie. The Seelbach is known for its artfully restored, early 1900s decor, and this elegant watering hole was not passed over. The bar itself is a fine piece of mahogany, and it's as inviting a bar as ever there was. The bar is staffed by a crew not only expert at drink mixing, but also at spinning yarns about the hotel, the neighborhood, and the great state of Kentucky. Live jazz on weekends.
Situated right beside Residence Inn Louisville Downtown, this whiskey bar plies Kentucky bourbon as well as other potent libations in a building that dates from 1885. If you love whiskey, this unpretentious downtown bar with its fantastic selection of more than 100 varieties, is one you absolutely must visit. If whiskey isn't really your thing, don't despair because the bar also has craft and tap beers for you to enjoy as well. During the week, this popular watering hole has live bands in action, from traditional bluegrass trios to punk rock ones, each night is different.
Housed in a former garage, The Garage Bar is one of the most popular eateries and bars in the NuLu neighborhood or East Market District of Louisville. The place is always thumping with excitement and the two crashed cars at the entrance is a cool, gimmick that belies what the bar is all about. Their wood-fired oven pizzas are phenomenal and every single one of them uses local, farm fresh ingredients. Just check the menu, it has the local farmers and purveyors listed behind the products in your dish.
While much of Old Louisville can be exactly that, meaning old, Mag Bar takes a step (albeit a baby step) in the direction of the new. That means in a neighborhood full of bed and breakfasts trafficking in chamber music and merlot, this place offers a loud jukebox and Miller High Life. The bar's facade is made up of big plate-glass windows, so the sun shines in warmly right up to the bitter end of happy hour.
Celebrated by such diverse publications as Spin Magazine and Milkyboots, Seidenfadens is the type of dive bar for which dive bar aficionados search the world over. Located on a spartan little corner in a quiet neighborhood, inside there's cheap beer, sauced locals, good music and a whole lot more. Live bands play on occasion, karaoke takes place on the regular, and there's even a movie night every Sunday, presented by Wild & Woolly Video.
Beer nerds take note: The Nachbar is the place to be for beer selection in Louisville. There's a hefty menu of Belgians, Germans, other imports, and the best of the American microbreweries. There are lots of bottles and plenty of cascading hops out of the taps too. The walls are made of exposed brick, there's billiards and a backyard and a full bar in case beer isn't your first choice. A popular summer venue, the patio is a great place to mingle over drinks in fine weather. Open till late, this hidden gem is a Germantown favorite for those in the know.
Four Pegs bills itself as a "Beer Lounge and Social Eatery." It aptly fits the bill because the friendly and knowledgeable staff treat guests to a smorgasbord of great beer and hearty grub that sticks to the ribs. The beer selection is carefully curated and has choices from some of the best regions in the world, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, and much more. Almost every night, there is some kind of special, wings on Tuesdays, pints on Wednesdays and Trivia Sundays are always a blast.
Zanzabar is a local institution. Since its opening in 1938 it has changed templates many times, but it has always remained a local watering hole. The recent incarnation has it all, from old-school arcade games and pinball tournament nights to local farm-to-table food and live music, things have surely changed since those prewar days. The food and drinks are outstanding, but a lot of people come just to revert back to their childhood with games like Paperboy, Asteroids, Frogger and Donkey Kong. When you add the live music, this version of Zanzabar appears as if it is the best one in the last 80 years.
The Back Door is a simple, unpretentious watering-hole located on Bardstown Road and a great place to shoot pool, drink domestic beer and carouse in general with the locals. In addition to domestic drafts, the bartenders here pour strong drinks and there are a couple of dart boards as well. The kitchen serves pub grub like wings, nachos, and quesadillas, and there's plenty of parking too.
Located on Frankfort Avenue, the Silver Dollar is a bar that probably serves the most diverse range of whiskeys in town. The bar is also known for their bourbon-heavy drinks as well as their delectable southern fare. The staff is friendly and attentive to your needs, and the retro ambiance transports you to the early 1950s. Behind the bar, there lies a virtually unending list of bourbon varieties that are used to keep the bar well-stocked with its most popular element. The kitchen serves comfort food like fried dill pickles, barbecue pork sandwiches, double cheeseburgers, and fried oysters.
On one of the most bustling blocks of the always-bustling Bardstown Road corridor, Cumberland Brews serves up tall pours of craft-brewed beer and healthy helpings of Southern-fried comfort food. Brews range from traditional English-style classics to decidedly experimental stuff like a pale ale spiced up with a hit of Yerba Mate. To eat, fried fish sandwiches and cheeseburgers go great with a side of fried green tomatoes. Enjoyment of all of the above is amplified by the fast-paced street scene out front viewable through big picture windows (or through your own two eyes if you grab a table out on the sidewalk).