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    Over the weekend an interesting piece of graffiti appeared on the Panera Bread at 1534 Bardstown Rd:

    That particular Panera Bread was the most prolific location of a lost (but not forgotten) alternative record store called ear X-tacy. Ear X-tacy was opened in 1985 by John Timmons, using his personal records and a “cash advance on his Mastercard.” 

    Ear X-tacy actually had three locations before announcing their closure in 2011, but the best known was certainly 1534 Bardstown Rd. Ear X-tacy was keeping Louisville weird before keeping Louisville weird was in vogue. Many big names performed on the stage at ear X-tacy, including the Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, John Mayer, Sam Bush, Shooter Jennings, The Black Keys, Drive-By Truckers, Cage the Elephant,Tenacious D, Skyscraper Stereo,The Villebillies and of course, Louisville natives My Morning Jacket. When the store closed there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth, in local and national media and in the hearts of Louisville music lovers. 

    Over the weekend, a few shots on Instagram informed #LouisvilleKY that the Panera on Bardstown Road had been “decorated” by a particularly bold artist. The Ear X-tacy logo so many Louisvilians know and love has been spray painted beside the entrance to the chain bakery, coffee and sandwich shop. Whoever put up the logo got the dash placement wrong, but the sentiment remains. 

    That logo is particularly well known because the ear X-tacy bumper stickers are a daily reminder of the store in Louisville. The stickers were free with a purchase for awhile, and many were cut up and rearranged to form other phrases. You know a Louisvillian’s had a car for a long time if the ear X-tacy bumper sticker is still relatively intact.

    No word from Panera on whether the graffiti will be allowed to remain, but the situation is doubtful. For today at least, Louisvillians can walk down Bardstown Road and see the ear X-tacy logo on a building again.

    Edit 3/25: 

    The graffiti was painted over as of the afternoon of 3/23.

    Cover image courtesy of Instagram.com/Lauramarieread. Final photo courtesy of Kory Johnson Photography via the ear x-stacy is LOVE Facebook Page. 

    Elizabeth Myers's picture

    About Elizabeth Myers

    Big fan of bacon and bourbon, deep fried anything, sweet tea and sweet nothings.

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