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    For the Dating Couples (a.k.a, the “I Mays”):

    Dating can be expensive and as fun as a trip to Fiji for a bachelor party, but more times than not the trip is followed with only good story mixed with buyer’s remorse and a shortage of coin.  It’s hard enough to find a person who you find attractive and whose company you enjoy and also is willing to give you the benefit of the doubt for a second date.

    First dates to me seem more of a dare, the second date almost sheer curiosity, and the third date a leap of faith with potential of something (gulp) much bigger.

    On our first date I took my now wife to "Furlong’s" which has been reopened as Staxx Roadhouse on 9601 Shelbyville Road. We followed that first face-to-face meeting hours later with a stroll down Bardstown Road for window-shopping, a stop at Bristol’s Bar for a frosty beverage, and ended up watching “Zombieland” at The Baxter Street Theater on of all days Halloween.  “And they lived happily ever after,” as the saying goes.  Point is this was a nutty first date where we tried a little of everything we had time to do locally to get to know each other and in the process All Hallows Eve for me became the best scary day of my life.  Here’s a walk in the shoes of me and my wife’s first date – memory lane for me…

    Staxx Roadhouse and BBQ

    The name STAXX invokes memories of the old Stax Recording Studio in Memphis and also refers to Tommy’s method of “stacking” meat while smoking it.

    Imagine blues, jazz and Motown..grilled steaks, smoked barbeque and homemade cheesecake...”charm, character and camaraderie” is their motto. Whether gathered at the bar watching a ball game, seated in one of the dining areas enjoying a meal and bottle of wine, or enjoying the outdoor patio and bar scene, this roadhouse offers a place for singles, families and friends alike to enjoy each other’s company while STAXX caters to your nightly needs.  It can be a little hit to your wallet, but its locality will make you feel like you’ve saved money on happiness.  Try the juicy blackberry glazed ribs on the appetizer menu a ($7.99), the mac & cheese and crab stuffed catfish are at best okay, so set your expectations accordingly.  Sadly I recently returned there to give them a third chance, and unfortunately if you want good food or service, STAXX is a pile....but I'll never forget the location because of that first date.

    Staxx Roadhouse: 9601 Shelbyville Road, 502-425-9641


    The Bristol Bar and Grille

    The Bristol Bar and Grille is an approachable Louisville classic dining destination, but what couples may not know is that the Bristol has a Master Sommelier that searches the world of wine to bring the best varietals to the table. There are only 112 Master Sommeliers in the U.S. and only 2 in Kentucky, so this is a unique feature. The Bristol offers wine features and flights daily, and they also frequently host winemaker dinners.

    1321 Bardstown Road

    Louisville, KY 40204


    502.456.1995 Banquet Rooms

    Baxter Avenue Filmworks

    Located in the heart of the Highlands neighborhood, Baxter Avenue Filmworks is far from a typical multiplex.  The theater offers first-run, foreign, and independent fare.  Baxter offers you a choice of eight auditoriums with seating capacities from 147 to 237  Baxter's most show-stopping asset is a multimedia video wall above the concession stand, lighted moving sculptures, and vintage posters throughout the facility. Hand-painted murals by local artists adorn walls in the concourse and each theater.  Each mural celebrates a director that has made a valuable contribution to film.

    Baxter Avenue Filmworks, 1250 Bardstown Road

    Louisville, KY  40204, Office Line: 456-4404, Movie Line: 459-2288

    (Author's note to my brethren, you can never re-create that first date, but it doesn't hurt to try and will be worth the effort - she'll recognize the effort.)


    Doc Crows Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar

    You can tell good southern cooking because you can almost feel the care and love in every dish.  As much as I love good seafood (and theirs was great), I also live for well-cooked meat.

    My wife and I  sampled dry rubbed ribs which fell off the bone (1/2 rack $12), Brisket ($12 sandwiches), pulled pork ($9), and a southern fried pork chop ($12) that kept me from even touching fresh mashed potatoes that I took home and ate later that night.  My wife had her first fried shrimp po boy ($11) coated in real remoulade sauce and fresh bread shipped in from New Orleans that made her such a fan I hated to break her heart by telling her it doesn’t get that good outside of the Big Easy.

    Featuring a casual, family-friendly atmosphere, the restaurant is located at 127 W. Main St. and is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, 11a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m. Reservations are not accepted for less than six, but there is a call ahead system. Visit or call (502) 257-7132 for more information.

    The Bakery at Sullivan University

    Most people know Sullivan University as the place for chefs to earn their stripes, but what you may not know is that there is a retail bakery that is open to the public! The Bakery at Sullivan University will have couples feeling like they have been transported to a European pastry shop with shelves of artisan bread, trays of French style macarons and fresh croissants. Peek through one of the windows in by the registers, and you can also catch a glimpse of chefs in training working on cakes, chocolate sculptures and more!

    3101 Bardstown Road

    Louisville, KY 40205-3000

    (502) 452-1210

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    Kit Helton's picture

    About Kit Helton

    Average single guy who has been able to lead an above average life. Originally from New Orleans and arrived in Louisville after 10 years via Chicago in 2005. Currently residing near Churchill Downs with my dog, Dixie. Owner of a catering company for over a decade and published cookbook author, I am lucky to return to the Food & Dining as well as Arts beats for

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