Louisville, KY

Lovin' Louisville with Hornetgirl

Ah, Louisville, Kentucky... city of my youth, and now the 16th largest city in America, as the plethora of billboards will tell you as you enter the city from any direction (Do you think we're proud?). I'm Hornetgirl, illustrious bass player for the equally illustrious Louisville rock trio the Vibrolas. Louisville has been my home for the majority of my life (except for a few hazy years in Florida, but that's another story), and even though I don't live there now, I do go back nearly every weekend so I'm still up on what's cool. Here's the low down on where to go when you visit our fair city (Please don't make fun of the new license plates - we're trying to figure out how to get rid of 'em!).

Clubs and Bars

Yes, even hillbillies have a nightlife. No, really, only about half the people I know are rednecks, but I digress. Here's where to go to tie one on or see a band, or if you're like me, both:

The Rudyard Kipling
422 W. Oak Street
Louisville, KY 40203
(502) 636-1311

Big, old fashioned restaurant/bar that features all sorts of theatre, live music, poetry, etc. This is where we played with the Gaza Strippers, so you know it's cool! For all you non-vegetarians, I recommend Mom's Meatloaf Sandwich. 21+

1012 Barret Avenue
Louisville, KY 40204
(502) 458-0925

In the basement of the Barret Bar lurks Barretones, a neat little dive that features live music. Pretty cramped but always a good time! 21+

The Lava House
927 Shelby Parkway
Louisville, KY 40217

Very groovy warehouse that used to be a streetcar repair center in the early part of the 1900's (You should see the hoisting system they used to lift those buggers in the air!) and now plays host to numerous art shows and live music. Occasionally gets raided by the cops, so watch out! All ages.

1047 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY 40204
(502) 454-6687 

Coolest bar in Louisville that doesn't feature live music (although 13 years ago I saw Fugazi there when it had different owners maybe someday the present owners will see the light). They do play good music though, display the art of local artists on the walls and serve some killer quesedilla. 21+


Hey, even though I'm into cars I'm still a girl!

Queen of Rags
1304 E. Breckinridge Street
Louisville, KY 40204
(502) 589-0336

The lady that owns this vintage clothing store claims to have known Jimi Hendrix. Is it true? Who cares! It just adds character to this nifty hole in the wall--not that it's lacking any! It looks like a hippie's closet exploded in here, and it's not much bigger than that. Clothes are practically jumping off the racks at you. Handicap accessible it's not!

Nitty Gritty
996 Barret Avenue
Louisville, KY 40204
(502) 583-3377

Another good vintage clothing store (no, I never buy anything new; who can afford to, anyway?), this one more concerned with '50's kitsch. They also carry furniture and assorted knick-knacks. Much more spacious than Queen of Rags, and this store holds a special place in my heart: the girl who owns it also drives an AMC! She even gave me discount when I told her about my Hornet.

Other Stuff to Do

Louisville Extreme Park
Witherspoon and Clay Streets
Louisville, KY 40201
Open 24 hours a day, free admission

For all you crazy fools out there, Louisville has built one of the biggest and best skate/bike parts in the country (including a 24 foot full pipe!). Overlooking the majestic Ohio River (motto: More dead bodies than fish!), this park attracts extreme sports enthusiasts from all over the world, including skating uber-legend Tony Hawk. Just don't blame me if you want to break a limb flinging around on the 40,000 square feet of concrete!

Churchill Downs
700 Central Avenue
Louisville, KY 40208
(502) 636-4400

I know, I know, it's a very tourist-y thing to do to go to Churchill Downs, but this is Kentucky, after all, and we all know what Kentucky's number one agricultural item is - no, not THAT - it's horses! There's a lot of history at the Twin Spires, plus you get to gamble (legally!) and drink, not to mention my mom works there! Say hello to Mrs. C when you go, but don't get too drunk and rowdy; she may be a tiny grandma, but she's not afraid to kick your ass out.

Barbara Lee's Kitchen
2410 Brownsboro Road
Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 897-3967

The best greasy spoon in town! Good eats cheap, plus my husband holds the top score on Out Run there!

Close Window