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First Friday debuts in SoFo
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Friday evening from 5 to 11 p.m., hundreds of visitors boarded the first trolleys to grace South Fourth Street for the Republic Bank First Friday Trolley Hop’s new Fourth Street service. Those boarding at the Galt House – where signage near the famous hotel on Fourth and Main alerted passersby about the new route – could pick up a First Friday tote with assorted goodies inside, perfect for holding the many more goodies riders could purchase from the boutiques down in SoFo.

One of the boutiques in question, Craft(s) Gallery, had even more reason to celebrate, as this first outing of the trolleys was also the grand opening of the contemporary and traditional art gallery owned by Karen Welch and David McGuire. While the crowds filled the gallery’s floor space downstairs, tours of the new apartments upstairs were given by CITY Properties Group. Mayor Greg Fischer and his wife Alex were in attendance at the gallery prior to working their way through all of the shops along South Fourth Street.

Outside the chaos and parked across from Regalo, Black Rock Grille served burgers and fries to all while down the street at Art Eatables, King Sonic guitarist Richard Powell serenaded patrons of the bourbon-infused chocolatier with his own bourbon-soaked songs. Inside Regalo, new pieces from local artist Joshua Jenkins were on display on the walls of the second level, capturing the eyes of many through his expressionist art.

Speaking of art, watercolorist Amy Wellborn and clay artist Laura Ross had their own exhibitions at Block Party Handmade Boutique and Craft(s), respectively, adding onto the art displays found at Land of Tomorrow on 233 W. Broadway, FAF Gallery on Third and West Muhammad Ali, and The Gallery at the Brown Hotel at Fourth and Broadway.

The First Friday Trolley Hop’s foray into SoFo is another step in the Louisville Downtown Development Corporation’s push to revitalize the corridor between the Brown and Seelbach hotels, which began with the courting of 22 retailers back in 2011, leading up to the first nine setting up shop earlier this year.

Photos: Cameron Miquelon/Louisville.com.

Slideshow: 
A First Friday trolley heads up to the Galt House to bring riders down to SoFo.
A trio of shoppers going over the wares inside Les Filles Louisville.
Two gentlemen take a seat in front of Les Filles Louisville between visits to the shops in SoFo.
Business began to pick up as the evening proceeded.
Mayor Greg Fischer greets constituents outside of Craft(s) Gallery.
People spilling out of Craft(s) Gallery on the corner of Fourth and Chestnut.
King Sonic guitarist performed for patrons entering chocolatier Art Eatables.
Craft(s) Gallery held their grand opening party the same night as the debut of the First Friday trolleys.
Two pieces from Joshua Jenkins on display in the second level of Regalo's SoFo shop.
Block Party Homemade Boutique owner Mary Levinsky speaking with a customer about her boutique.
Black Rock Grille waits for their next customers to their truck.
Things were quiet early on in SoFo, though this would change later.
This sign on the window of Celebrations greeted riders who departed from the trolleys.
Passengers boarding a First Friday trolley at the Galt House.
Les Filles Louisville owner Melissa Willis speaking with Alexandra Gerassimides, Mayor Fischer's wife, about the hats made by milliner Formé Millinery.

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Cameron Miquelon's picture

About Cameron Miquelon

Former fashion writer for Louisville.com, now contributing author for automotive industry blog The Truth About Cars. Born in Louisville, returned 29 years later, left for Seattle in 2013.

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