It’s That Time Again

Overpriced parking, Jack Nicholson’s entourage, outrageous hotel rates, and beautiful Kentucky women dressed in their seasonal finest, strutting through the crowd at The Downs while some drunk guy in a seersucker suit with a Colonel Sanders moustache spills Mint Julep all over his white, patent-leather shoes.

If you’re a swinging bachelor in town for the event, I’ll bet you want to know where to find the most beautiful women in town. And whatever your tastes, your good old buddy Mr. Chase can act as a virtual concierge, your bachelor advocate.

For just this occasion, I’ve compiled a list of the local restaurants and bars from a single guy’s point of view.

mint julepFourth Street Live!

If you enjoy your girls barely out of college dancing on a bar and doing Jeagermeister shots mixed with cheap, candy-flavored vodka, this place is for you. Fourth Street Live! is not so much a bar as a galaxy of little theme bars, strung together. From disco bowling to country music, you can find something you like. During Derby it turns into a conflagration of binge drinking mixed with fraternity machismo. Unless you’re an avid fan of Tucker Max books, I would avoid the place altogether.


8-up is a beautiful, classy establishment on the rooftop of the Hilton Garden Inn. If you’re into class, this is your place. The outside patio is immaculately decorated and the lounge inside just past the bar is dotted with professional women and men, draped in expensive clothing. The women are smart, classy, and beautiful in that unique, long-legged Kentucky way.

It’s tough to get a drink, but the bartenders are working furiously to make 10-ingredient cocktails with expensive vodkas or bourbon. Grey Goose is their house, and the list of bourbons is impressive.

It’s a friendly, open environment and don’t be surprised if you find yourself in a conversation or two with a pretty lady who has both read an actual book and remembers who Paul Newman was before he started making salad dressing.


A generally sleepy bar on the edge of the Highlands, Seidenfauden’s is known for being the hottest retro hipster dance party on Saturday night. It’s dead as a doornail until midnight, when the DJ’s start and the twenty-something, post-graduate girls come flooding in to dance to 80s pop music on vinyl and drink cheap tap beer out of plastic cups.

It’s a little cramped, and my friend Biz always asks, “Why do their bathrooms always smell like a tenement house?”  But the upside is that the girls are always cute and friendly.  Don’t expect much conversation though, since Eddie Grant will be playing full blast. I hope you like to dance.


If you like your music loud and techno (and I know you do), then THIS is your place. With a big, sweaty, dance floor and a house DJ with a name  so risqué I can’t actually print it here, Z-bar is the staple of ravers and dance-freaks of all kinds. And if your idea of “fun” is getting lung cancer from second-hand smoke, don’t forget to check out the back patio.

For party dancing people they have a light and smoke show and the bands that play regularly in the earlier hours are actually good picks from a range of alt music for 30 and unders.

Phoenix Hill

If you feel rock and roll ended when Whitesnake broke up, you’re gonna love it here. Phoenix Hill has been the Louisville staple for rock bands and loud entertainment since I was wearing a school uniform at Scared Heart Academy. Women will be wearing acid-wash, cowboy boots and very big, blonde hair. They might even get into a fistfight or two. But man, it’s Derby. We’re prepared for that sort of thing.


“We play both kinds of music here. Phish AND the Grateful Dead”.

Gerstle’s specializes in hippies and good-timey jam band music. If you like the smell of patchouli and desperately need to dust off those tie-dyed Guatemalan sweatpants, go find a cute earthy girl to jam out with at this place in St. Matthews.


A new avant-garde, super-hipster bar downtown that has a constant stream of semi-nude, sixties strip-tease movies playing on a wall behind the bar, Meta offers a cozy space, some decent music, and a 27-45 year-old crowd that bridges the gap between professional and unemployed. Expect a great mix of attractive women dressed down and ready to party. The cocktails are reasonably priced, served in actual glasses, and the girls are always social, and fun-loving.

These aren’t the only places in town, but they’re a damn good sampling of the Derby madness coming your way this week. And if you’re lucky enough, maybe one night out of the corner of your eye you might just spot one R. Chase, casually sipping bourbon in the corner and checking you out from the corner of his eye…

Enjoy your Derby. VT

R. Chase is a local writer and surveyor of single life on the Bourbon Trail. Follow him on twitter at @Rchase.