BB Riverboats began with a deceptive motto and a fleet of zero. In 1977, Ben Bernstein opened a restaurant in a converted steamboat, whose motto was ?The Romance of Riverboat Dining.? Intended as tongue-in-cheek, the motto instead confused customers, who arrived hoping for a scenic cruise down the Ohio River. To placate his clientele, Ben Bernstein went into business with riverboat industry veteran Betty Blake, and BB Riverboats?named for their shared initials?was born.
Now run by Bernstein?s son, BB Riverboats has increased its fleet to three vessels, including the Belle of Cincinnati, a riverboat outfitted with Victorian details and two climate-controlled decks. On daily cruises down the Ohio, historical narration compliments the scenery, while passengers play swashbuckling games and learn to read treasure maps on family-friendly pirate cruises. On the company?s dining cruises, visitors drink in the scenery while noshing on a Hawaiian buffet spread or sampling award-winning wines from StoneBrook Winery. Additionally, holiday cruises honor occasions from Valentine?s Day to Thanksgiving.
The Bard's Town blends two households, both alike in dignity, yet separate all the same. A theatre on one side, and a restaurant on the other, The Bard's Town is not a dinner theatre, as dishes never find their way into the staging space. Contrary to what the name might suggest, The Bard?s Town Theatre chooses to pay homage to Shakespeare not by performing his plays, but by following in his footsteps and creating new work. This mission has resulted in the performance of several world premiers, short plays, and the Obie-award winning A Bright New Boise.
In the self-contained restaurant, a raucous menu full of hearty dishes and Shakespearean puns abounds. Prologues (appetizers) include dishes such as Titus Nacho-nicus, while main course dishes include The Mushroom of Venice burger with Swiss cheese and mushrooms, and The Steakspeare?an 8-ounce Shell Island steak coated in original rub. Epilogues (desserts) include homemade gooey butter cake and key lime pie.
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.
The Vernon Club, nestled in a historic building dating back to 1886, rolls out eight gleaming lanes with automatic scoring, a new Internet jukebox, and tasty comestibles for fueling competitive appetites. Players don borrowed footwear and the letterman jackets of league-player ghosts before hurling three-holed spheres toward pins poising themselves for the welcomed whack of a spare or strike. Bowlers can rest their pin-striking biceps of fury with a gooey 12-inch pizza or maintain concentration while grasping a bratwurst in non-bowling hands. On select nights, rock bands set up shop beside the lanes and churn out foot-tapping ditties until 1 a.m. or 2 a.m.
At Derby City Espresso, the espresso drinks are derived from either a single or double shot of its espresso, which is made from its La Marzocco Linea espresso machine. A Cubano, which is just a sweetened version of espresso, runs $2 for a single and $3 for a double. DCE’s beer menu appeals to the senses of a beer lover's suds-soaked dreams, with premium craft beers that fall within the affordable price range of ($4–$8). An expansive menu of more than 50 loose-leaf teas completes the selection.
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.