Louisville Keeps Getting Better!

Louisville Keeps Getting Better!

If you visit Louisville, it’s hard to miss all the construction going on, especially downtown. Our city is in the midst of an exciting, $1 billion transformation. At the heart of it all is the renovation to the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC)!

Thanks to a $180 million investment, the expanded KICC will soon feature 200,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space, a 40,000 square foot ballroom, 52 meeting rooms, a 175 seat state-of-the-art conference theatre and advanced WiFi capabilities to support the needs of today’s meeting attendees and presenters. This massive project is expected to be complete by the summer of 2018 and will increase Louisville’s meeting prospects by 25 percent.

In addition to KICC, Louisville’s hotel landscape is getting some serious room service too. Between now and the end of 2018, six new hotels will open around the city, including the 600-room Omni Hotel that will be located adjacent to the KICC. This will give Louisville more than 5,000 hotel rooms in the downtown area. Some of the newest and upcoming hotels include:

Aloft Louisville Downtown—Opened in November, this hip hotel features 175 rooms, and is located on our revitalized Whiskey Row. Aloft offers easy access to the KICC, entertainment, the KFC YUM! Center, Whiskey Row and many of our city’s finest restaurants.

Aloft East Hotel—The paint is barely dry at ALOFT downtown and plans are already underway for an additional 126-room, 23,363-square-foot location in Louisville’s East End near the intersection of Indian Lake Drive and Westport Road, at the entrance to the Indian Springs neighborhood. The hotel will sit on the first hole of the former Indian Springs Golf Course, while Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint out of Nashville, Tennessee, will rent the former clubhouse from the neighborhood homeowner’s association.

Embassy Suites Louisville Downtown—A historic building with a contemporary, boutique-like ambiance, Embassy Suites Louisville Downtown is an all-suite hotel with 304 rooms located adjacent to Fourth Street Live!. It’s also just blocks from numerous off-site meeting venues.

Hilton Garden Inn Downtown—Set in the heart of Fourth Street Live!, this 162-room hotel is the only downtown venue with an indoor/outdoor rooftop restaurant and bar. The new hotel is also connected by skywalk to 6000 square feet of meeting space at the historic Henry Clay venue.

Holiday Inn Express Downtown—Construction is underway on this eight-story, 145-room hotel, giving visitors and convention goers another smart lodging option.

NuLu Hotel—Located at the corner of Shelby and Market streets in Louisville’s trendy NuLu neighborhood, this $38.6 million boutique hotel will feature six floors, 140 rooms and a 12,000 square foot rooftop bar and restaurant. Construction will begin in June 2016 with completion set for late 2017.

And just as our hotel scene is growing so is our Bourbon scene. A whole new wave of distilleries, tasting rooms, visitor centers, exhibits and Bourbon-inspired restaurants are popping up seemingly overnight around the city. Add the 10 distilleries that will comprise the Urban Bourbon ExperienceTM, and Louisville will be an entirely new destination by the summer of 2018. Here’s just a glimpse of what’s new and what’s on tap:

Kentucky Peerless Distillery—Started in Henderson, Kentucky in the 1880s, Peerless Whiskey ceased production during Prohibition. The Peerless label laid dormant until last winter when it was revived and reintroduced to an entire new generation of Bourbon connoisseurs. Tours and tastings are now open at this state-of-the-art distillery located on the west end of Whiskey Row.

Jim Beam® Urban StillhouseThe #1 Bourbon in the world now offers a visitor’s experience like no other. This small working distillery, located in the heart of Fourth Street Live!, also includes a bottling line, tastings, full retail store and something you won’t find any place else—Jim Beam® Urban Stillhouse Select, a Bourbon distilled and bottled exclusively for the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse.

Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience—Originally opened on Derby Day in 1935 and reopened to the public late last year, the Stitzel-Weller Distillery is one of the true cathedrals of the American whiskey industry. Located only five miles from downtown, tours and tasting are available Wednesday through Sunday.

Meanwhile on Whiskey Row—Angel’s Envy, Old Forester and Mitcher’s are in various stages of construction with plans to open in 2016 and 2017. Also underway is the $12.5 million Rabbit Hole Distillery in NuLu.


For a link to the article with all of the amazing info: https://insiderlouisville.com/sponsored/louisvilles-1-billion-transformation/

Bourbon Drink of the Week

We snagged this awesome recipe from The Cocktail Project



  • 11/2 parts Basil Hayden's® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1/2 part fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 part Simple Syrup
  • 7 Blackberries
  • 7 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • 2-3 parts Wine, Sparkling


Muddle 6 blackberries and 6 mint leaves in a Boston Shaker with ¼ part simple syrup. In the mixing glass, combine Basil Hayden's® Bourbon, lemon juice and remaining simple syrup and add to the muddled blackberries and mint leaves. Add ice and shake. Double strain into a Collins glass with fresh crushed ice. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a skewered mint leaf and blackberry.  Enjoy.


The Brown Hotel

The Brown Hotel

Still bringing in new energy

A beautiful taste of history. The brown hotel reflects the southern rich heritage. A hot spot for Louisville. Travel and Leisure top 500 best hotels in the world. With their elegant J. Graham cafe to the fine dining of the English grill. Refreshing, chic and, breathtaking event space makes for a great event or wedding. Rackhouse had the pleasure of touring the beautiful hotel and event space after taking a refreshing tour through the Jim Beam experience. The historic Brown hotel still resides in the same space it was built in 1923. With all the remarkable events of the 20th century - The Great Depression, WWII, Ohio river flood as well as, the Prohibition has helped shape the hotel to what it is today. Home to the Muhammad Ali suite makes for a great bachelor, bachelorette suite or a  meet and greet for a small corporate hosting. With their Rooftop Garden under construction will certainly bring something extra to the hotel as well as, event space.

Bourbon Drink of the Week

Sour Cherry Old Fashioned




  • 24 frozen sour cherries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup KY Bourbon - We Used Maker's Mark
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons kirsch
  • Thin lemon-zest strips (from 1 lemon)


  1. Place cherries in a heatproof bowl. Stir water and sugar in small saucepan to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil, and pour over cherries. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

  2. Drain cherries, reserving syrup. Thread 4 cherries onto each of 6 skewers. Make 3 drinks at a time: Pour 6 tablespoons whiskey, 3 tablespoons kirsch, and 4 1/2 teaspoons reserved syrup in a cocktail shaker 3/4 filled with ice. Shake and pour into chilled glasses. Garnish each with a skewer and 2 to 3 strips lemon zest. Repeat for the second batch.

Bourbon Drink of the Week

The Rackhouse Fizz


1/2 cup bourbon - We used Eagle Rare

3 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon Angostura bitters

Ice cubes

8ct 2-inch-long strips lemon peel (yellow part only)

1 750-ml bottle chilled dry Champagne or sparkling wine


Mix bourbon, sugar and bitters in glass measuring cup. Let stand until sugar begins to dissolve, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Fill eight 8-ounce wineglasses with ice cubes. Add 1 lemon peel strip to each glass. Divide bourbon mixture among wineglasses. Fill glasses with Champagne and serve.  Enjoy.