One of those places your grandpa probably used to hang out before it was cool. Now, it’s a destination for the young, sexy and tragically hip. It’s the kind of place to go to get a shot and a PBR for $5 served up by a girl with cool tattoos. Expect vinyls spinning and dance parties.
Dimly lit? Check. Decor that makes you feel like your in your mom’s basement? Check. B-horror movies on the TV? Check. Arcade games? Check. Craft beer AND Coors Banquet? Check. Come on down to the best karaoke bar you’ve never heard of for an evening of mingling with the slouch-beanie wearing youth of the city.
Credit: Sarah Davis
Too cool to have a sign out front. If you manage to even find this place, you’ve more than halfway earned your right to drink there. Your first rite of passage is complete. The next step is to try to select one of their thousand beers (seriously) and pronounce it correctly while ordering.
Another place with the ever-welcoming mother’s-basement-ambiance with wood paneling and floral-patterned couches. Broodingly reading in the corner or feverishly scribbling in a notebook doesn’t really have the desired effect here, because everyone else doing it, too. This place boasts a resident bar cat and a respectable beer selection. Construction workers by day, hep cats by night .Just don’t clap at the wrong part of a jazz guitar solo.
Credit: Bryan V.
Cahoots… the dive to end all dives. While it is commonly regarded as a wretched hive of scum and villainy, it’s also a great place to get hard liquor for real cheap. Cahoots don’t give a damn about it’s bad reputation, and if you’re up for a night of adventure, neither should you. Don your beanie, find your cleanest dirty shirt and get ready to make some mistakes.
Credit: Cahoots Louisville
6. Holy Grale
A bar in a building converted from an old church, here you will find unique beers from around the world. Holy Grale features 26 rotating taps as well as an impressive bottle list. The biergarten out back is a beautiful place to spend the evening, and only the evening, because this place is too classy to go into after hours and usually closes up shop around 1:00 AM.
Credit: Holy Grale
The Silver Dollar is located inside of what was once a firehouse. If that isn’t trendy enough for you, it’s also inspired by a Bakersfield honky-tonk and the outlaw country records never stop spinning. The beer list has more pages than your philosophy doctoral dissertation, it’s a national bourbon-lovers destination and the cocktail menu features seasonal cocktails infused with house-made juices and bitters concocted by mixologists.
Credit: Saya Signs
8. Mag Bar
$1 PBRs, Wii Bowling Tournaments, pinball machines, Bingo, DJs, dancing on bars, a formidable jukebox, live local music and questionable bathrooms – everything you’ve come to expect from a dive and more.
Two buildings, one bar. A karaoke destination, a place to see local and regional metal bands and drink PBR. It’s pretty chill… or… whatever.
Credit: Highlands Taproom
Louisville’s best vintage arcade! Z-bar features a delightful beer selection (including Apocalypse Brewery!) and brings the biggest names to the stage you’re going to see in a dive bar in this city.
Obscure acts of all varieties grace Haymarket’s stage, from burlesque to one-man-bands. Vinyl nights, more brands of bourbon than you can shake a stick at, bluegrass jams… +5 coolness if you’re seen here.
Credit: Haymarket Whiskey Bar
12. Garage Bar
Craft beer, artisanal cocktails, ping pong and astroturf in the NuLu region. Of course, in the vein of re-purposed abandoned buildings, it used to be an actual garage. We’d recommend making it out there before it becomes too mainstream.
Credit: Garage Bar
Featured Image Credit: Thum Thompson