Down One opens tomorrow.

» Posted by on Feb 24, 2013 in Blog, Louisville, Restaurants | 0 comments

Three dollars will not get you a bottle of water at the KFC Yum! Center. Nor will it get you a hot dog, popcorn, cracker jacks or even a cookie. And this is only worth mentioning because starting Monday right across Third Street from the arena, you can take the staircase Down One flight from the sidewalk, pass the wall of bourbon and for three whole US dollars get 4 Bacon-wrapped, gorgonzola-stuffed dates that are as good as they sound from the appetizer menu at Downtown's newest watering hole, Down One Bourbon Bar, and I can't fathom an odder juxtaposition in terms of marginal utility in this city.

It is a good looking room and despite having over 80 bourbons on the menu, including their own proprietary single barrel 9 year old, as well as the aforementioned wall, one would be forgiven for noticing neither the bourbon nor the bar aspects of the title as distractions abound, both on the menus and off, so much so that it takes the eye a bit to notice that they actually have a few big screen televisions up there between the elegantly chandeliered flat black ceiling and the decorative stained glass windows preserved from the Brennan Building, a former holding of the The Al J. Schneider Company. The mezcal based El Diablo was my first distraction and while the bartender unfussily prepared it, I studied what seems to be a well thought out drink menu with a few local brews making it onto to the beer list, a well balanced selection of reds and whites, a few twists on cocktails both modern and classic, and what has to be one of downtown's more democratic price ranges.*

Then the food started coming out in tasting portions and though it is pub fare- just small plates, soups, salads, sides and sandwiches, it is a new take on bar food, not a wing or chicken finger to be found and it is easy to look at the the outdoor tables beyond the three over head garage style doors as the after taste of the smoked salmon sandwich sample lingers on the tongue and imagine this place as a serious springtime al fresco dining destination. If all of those bites, the oyster mushroom Po' Boy, the two-ham, the brisket, the corned beef translate to full size sandwich as the samples would lead you to hope, safe in the knowledge that the Whiskey Chili and sides of jalapeno-cheddar grits, apple-fennel slaw pork bellied baked beans are going to be hits, the private dining room which is accessed via stepping through a British phone booth as has more stained glass from the Brennan Building on the ceiling, will be quite the commodity. Regardless, I imagine consistent crowds content with nothing more than the aforementioned bacon wrapped goodness, paired with a good measure of bourbon.

*To continue on with my ludicrous comparison, across the street the small draft beer is $6.50. Down One has over 70 adult beverages listed on their drink menu, including the Bourbon Smash and Paloma, for less than that. You may see the whole thing here: and the food here: