Fresh from new ownership and remodeling, Tailgaters Sports Bar & Grill's spacious interiors house a menu of flavorsome bar eats and a bevy of beverages. Start with an appetizer such as the onion petals ($5.99), their crisp, golden appearance mimicking the treasured Scallion Bowl trophy, or collect the bar's all-star starters in the diverse Tailgater Ultimate Sampler ($12.49), which arrives sidekicked with your choice of assistant dipping sauces. Fresh Angus beef bedecks burgers such as the half-pound All-American ($5.99, $6.99 with cheese) and the bacon-stacked black and blue burger ($8.99). Comfortably decorate your digestive cave with the Tailgaters Surf & Turf Classic ($19.99), its prime bistro fillet and beer-battered cod capably flanked by potatoes, colorful mixed veggies, and a soup or salad.
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.
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.
Every year on the first weekend in May, throngs of well-dressed visitors descend on Louisville, headed to Churchill Downs to witness the country's most iconic horse race. The track hosts other horse races throughout much of the year and operates a museum seven days a week. Louisville's other bastion, the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, offers 25-minute guided tours through the bat-making factory. The attached museum expounds on the manufacturing process with interactive exhibits, including an opportunity to stare down a 90 mph fastball. Post-tour, each visitor receives a miniature souvenir bat to swat away falling acorns.
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.
Steinert's Grill & Pub features eclectic pub favorites with an emphasis on southern, German, and Irish cuisines. For a Bavarian appetizer via the bluegrass state, try the kraut balls ($5.95), delightfully brazen deep-fried balls of sauerkraut served with thousand-island dressing. The open-faced Horseshoe sandwich (grilled chicken breast covered in homemade fries, bacon, and cheddar-cheese sauce, $7.95) and the slow-cooked, rib-rubbed beef Brontosaurus Ribs dinner ($15.95) will have you sated and pining for leopard-print-clad ancestral days. Or flaunt your sharing skills with a crispy Steinert pizza. Take a look at the oft-updated selection of Daily Specials to impress your dinner companions with your powers of foresight.