March 31, 2009

Bardstown Road

Last Saturday we drove to the Highland area of Bardstown Road to pick up a ceiling fan she had ordered awhile back. Bardstown Road has so many bars, cross streets, pizza parlors, tattoo parlors, coffee shops, antique shops, music stores, and book stores that it’s a unique yet confusing jumble of tossed together buildings snuggled together. The Bardstown Road area has always been the Haight-Ashbury of Louisville with left over hippies, gen-Xer’s, grunger’s and goths crowding the sidewalk and shops.

At last we saw the sign “Alcott & Bentley”. We had to park two blocks away. I love browsing this store. They sell mainly ceiling fans but also have chandeliers, Tiffany lamps, original paintings, sculptures and novelty items. An unseen radio is always tuned to WFPK as an added bonus.

I was looking at small table top sculptures at the front of the store, the large window in the background with a wide view of the sidewalk along Bardstown Road. I quit looking at the sculptures and was looking at the mostly young pedestrians and cyclists zigzagging to and fro in front of the shop.

There was a tipsy couple leaving a bar on the sunny-blurry side of the street. There were stoners with the red-rimmed chinese-eyes, looking down at their shoes as they walked. There was a man about my age with salt and pepper hair pulled back in a pony tail, faded jeans, and leather jacket. There was a slim long-legged woman with long strawberry blonde hair and painted on jeans. All the men took leisurely side long glances as she passed by.

I see the old Lentini’s restaurant across and down the street. Lentini’s went out of business not too long ago. Lentini’s is where I, along with my brother and sisters, had our first taste of wine. It was my older sister’s birthday as I recall our parents took all of us out to eat at Lentini’s and, I don’t know why, but dad ordered a large carafe of Chianti for all of us to partake. We thought it sophisticated and special to be drinking wine with our meal.

There is the Phoenix Hill Tavern, alive and still kicking. It’s still offers live music most every weekend. I’ve had some wild times there in the past. Wild times
that I prefer not to discuss in blog land.

I guess most every city has a street like Bardstown Road, a street lined with local businesses, local eateries, and unique, one-of-a-kind shops.


  1. It would be sweet if every town had a Bardstown Rd, but they do not. They will have something that hints at it, but isn't close at all. I love the Mid City Mall and the grocery store in there. The best produce out side of Paul's. I use to raise the roof at Phoenix Hill back in the day...we may have run into one another. Lloyd, the door man (hahah) was a friend...I wonder where he is now? I recall when PH was just a couple of rooms!

  2. So nice to have so many memories from different stages of your life all on one street!

  3. Those are the streets I love. Very evocative post - I could practically smell it