I’m proud to call Butchertown my neighborhood. Louisville has a lot of great neighborhoods, but this one holds a bit of charm the others do not. It’s definitely not the stench of pigs in the air from which the neighborhood got its namesake. Instead, it’s the original homes with gas lanterns lining the brick-lined streets. It’s the amount of diversity packed into a five-or-so block radius. It’s the feeling of possibility on each street corner.
These pictures are from a crisp spring evening in March of last year. It was the perfect night to take in the fresh air around Butchertown after being cooped up all winter. I’ve had this post ready since then, but felt it was appropriate to post now considering the weather this past weekend had me feeling the same way as last March. Happy. Spontaneous. Grateful. Excited.
Where to Eat and Shop in Butchertown, Louisville
Butchertown got it’s namesake quite literally. Butchers would drop remains in the creek in the 1800s due to sanitation laws downtown. After an influx of German immigrants, and a later push for rezoning after the Ohio River flood of 1937, Butchertown is a booming neighborhood again.
Butchertown Market is the first stop along Story Avenue. There you will find Work the Metal, a fashion, jewelry, homeware, and Louisville-themed boutique that houses sweets from local chocolatier Cellar Door Chocolates and an in-house wine bar. You’re guaranteed to find many-a bourbon themed home good and even a bourbon chocolate dipped Twinkie.
Behind the market is a bright orange accented building you can’t miss – Copper and Kings distillery. Just behind the black and orange shipping containers lies a concrete rotunda of bench-like seats and a small pool. The brandy distillery often times feels more like a hip meeting place than a distillery. But the brandy is not to be missed. They age their brandy through sonic aging, using the pulsation from music blared in the barrel rooms to enhance the apple and grape flavored brandy maturation. Pretty cool, right? Head to the third floor and enjoy a view of downtown at Alex&nder bar and a classic Highball cocktail.
Next door is Play nightclub and on the adjacent corners sits Butchertown Grocery, a former 20th century grocery store turned restaurant serving European inspired and traditional American dishes. The old school striped awning still covers the entrance, but the upstairs has been converted into a late night lounge called Lola. It’s dark and sexy with plush couches and cushions lining the exposed brick walls and a small performance stage in the corner. The late night spot is known for live jazz nights and their craft cocktails. Try a bone marrow luge shot if you’re feeling frisky.
The latest additions to Butchertown all line up on the right side of the street where Story Avenue turns into Main Street called ‘Butcher Block.’ Pho Ba Luu, Louabull, Stag + Doe, and Hi-Five Doughnuts have extended the allure of Butchertown a little further. Pho Ba Luu specializes in Vietnamese street food in a space that mimics that street food vibe with giant garage doors and open air seating. The pork bahn mi is succulent and pairs well with the simple and sweet Vietnamese iced coffee. Most recently is Naive restaurant, an eco and vegetarian-friendly hip restaurant on the corner of E. Washington St. Read my full review on it here.
Louabull is a replacement for the Why Louisville stores (RIP) stocked with quirky Louisville memorabilia and other weird trinkets. Definitely a tourist stop. Next door is Stag + Doe, an eclectic and modern home goods store offering accessories and furniture at a great price point. And the owners inside are always super friendly. And finally, we have Hi-Five Doughnuts. Once a traveling food truck, the ladies of Hi-Five have earned the hype worthy of a brick-and-mortar store. They’re not the cheapest doughnuts, but the quality and variety you’ll find is unbeatable. Think margarita flavor, cereal toppings, and bourbon ball doughnuts.