In the bone-dry days of the early twentieth century, residents of the Phoenix Hill neighborhood could only legally purchase spirits at the Vienna Bar & Restaurant or the Phoenix Hill Brewery. In 1984, The Brewery Restaurant and Bar took up the mantle of these venerable beer barons, conjoining two 120-year-old buildings on Baxter Avenue and opening up shop for nights of revelry and feasts of juicy burgers, hearty pastas, and deli-style sandwiches.
In the back, an antique 5,000-pound bar top from the original Vienna Bar & Restaurant evokes an air of old-timey nostalgia, and fully functional antique beer coolers chill drinks with traditional mule-powered refrigeration methods. Occasional live bands serenade diners and dancers, and the restaurant's mobile unit of caterers delivers payloads of mouthwatering pub fare to distant parties and events.
Four Pegs Beer Lounge enshrines an impressive arsenal of craft beers—there are about 12 of them on tap—and pub fare within its casual lounge décor of sturdy high-legged chairs, and elegant, Depression-era bartop. The cozy lounge structure in which Four Pegs set up shop exudes an old-school charm. The building's rich history dates back to 1935, when the memory of Prohibition was still fresh in patrons' minds, movie tickets cost a nickel, and life was still in black-and-white. Barkeeps mind shop behind a polished hardwood countertop, as guests sip satisfying liquid refreshment from breweries such as Founders, Dogfish Head, and Three Floyd's.
In football, the offensive linemen are the guys assigned to protect the quarterback. As such, they need to be big, and strong. Like really big, and really strong. Judging from its menu—and its name—that's where O-Line Sports Grill draws its inspiration. The restaurant tackles monstrous appetites with appropriately hearty dishes. For instance, its grilled cheeseburger sandwiches a quarter-pound patty between two grilled cheese sandwiches, and the half-pound Juicy Lucy burgers come stuffed with cheddar cheese. O-Line also winds up appetites with finger-friendly platters of pepper jack cheese bites, pepperoni sticks, and other foods that can be used to play baseball.
A host of savory Mediterranean dishes fill plates at Eat a Pita, where cooks whip up dishes such as the Jerusalem, a fresh-sliced eggplant skillfully fried and surrounded by warm pita. Meaty gyros arrive in regular or Hercules sizes, as do Philly cheese steaks that sneak onto the international menu. Other entrees include grilled chicken kabobs with mushrooms and green peppers.
Baseball in Louisville dates back to 1876 when the Louisville Grays began playing as part of the National League. Soon after the turn of the 20th century, minor league baseball arrived in Derby City and for 70 years, the Louisville Colonels commanded it. Their departure in 1972, however, led to a period of inactivity, as well as a period of unemployed umpires roaming the city shouting "SAFE!" at landing birds. Ten years later, baseball returned with the arrival of the Louisville Redbirds, who eventually became the RiverBats in 1998, and simply the Bats in 2002. Over the years this franchise has spent time as the affiliate of three big league teams: the St. Louis Cardinals, the Milwaukee Brewers, and its current affiliate, the Cincinnati Reds.
Maker's Mark Bourbon House serves upscale cuisine and, of course, a long list of Kentucky-distilled bourbons. From the classy comfort of the wood-topped bar, warm your whistle with a flight of low-rye bourbons (Jim Beam, Knob Creek, and Woodford Reserve, $11), high-rye bourbons (Bulleit, Four Roses Small Batch, and Fighting Cock, $12), single-barrel bourbons (Blanton’s, Eagle Rare, and Elijah Craig 18 year, $12), or a rich palate of millionaire's row bourbons (A.H. Hirsch 16 year, Jefferson’s Presidential Reserve 17 year, and Vintage Bourbon 23 year, $25). There are more than 60 creamy, smooth, oaky, toasted, and roasted flavors from which to choose.