This article appears in the January 2011 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com.
Don’t know about you, but we could really use a drink right about now. So we’ve scoured the city to find our 21 favorite bars — from upscale jazz joints to dives where your beer bottle sticks to the table. We’ve also tossed in some personalities familiar with local nightlife and quotes we overheard while out on the town.
If you need proof that the Dundee Tavern (2224 Dundee Road) is a true neighborhood hangout, consider the fact that one of the bar’s high-definition televisions was tuned to Wheel of Fortune on a recent Monday night — and patrons were actually trying to solve the puzzles. On the other end of the bar, a woman was sipping a glass of wine and reading the day’s edition of the Courier-Journal. Actually, forget neighborhood bar. For people living nearby, the Dundee Tavern is an extension of their living room.
Half-circle mirrors are built into the brick wall behind the bar, which carries 20 beers on tap. The music is so low that you can barely recognize the sound of Eric Clapton’s guitar gently weeping. A few Thoroughbred pictures and not much else decorate the walls; you’ll have to go somewhere else if neon beer signs are your thing. Dundee, which looks like a big brown barn from the outside, has a marquee that advertises “13 new HDTVs!” While this is a fine spot to watch a game — packed like most places when the Cards are on — most nights it is probably better described as a bar where you can hold a conversation with the game on in the background. When we looked to the next cocktail table, in fact, we saw U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth doing exactly that.
Photo: Courtesy Dundee Tavern and Grill