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This article appears in the January 2011 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com.

Don’t know about you, but we could really use a drink right about now. So we’ve scoured the city to find our 21 favorite bars — from upscale jazz joints to dives where your beer bottle sticks to the table. We’ve also tossed in some personalities familiar with local nightlife and quotes we overheard while out on the town.

The preferred form of interior decoration at Joe’s Older Than Dirt (8131 New LaGrange Road) is taxidermy — fish, deer, fox, the skin of a bear secured to the A-frame ceiling. And, wait a second, is that a buffalo’s rear end? Near the fake tree protruding through a wall is a vigil for a stuffed squirrel named Joe. A friendly waitress tells you somebody stole him. “We’re so sad because he was our friend,” she says, and you can’t tell if she is joking.

For lack of a better word, Joe’s is a drinking compound with different nooks where you can post up for the game. Near a fireplace, customers sit on plush couches and chairs and watch sports on a large, flat-screen television. The light-colored wood everywhere the eye can see emits a lodge-like vibe, so much so that you half expect a bundled-up local from Lyndon to stomp through the front door in ski boots. Outside, beneath a red-and-white striped tent, heaters make cornhole tournaments a winter-weather activity.

The cuisine at Joe’s describes the place as a whole. On the front of the menu, for instance, a red X hides the words “fine” and “dining.”

Photo: John Nation

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Didn't I tell you? I run this place! Not much goes on here without me knowing...I'm always watching.

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