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 Actors Theatre production has reached intermission, which means it’s time for a drink. And you’re in luck because a couple of short flights of stairs descending from the main lobby lead to Intermezzo, a below-street-level restaurant and bar (316 W. Main St.). It opened in its present form five years ago, after Barry King and his partner Dan Wilson returned from Paris and decided to model it after the brasserie called Le Grand Cafe. They brought back from France the posters that decorate the walls. “It was Danny’s vision,” King says of Wilson, who passed away last May.
King has taken over, packing in elegant theater-goers whenever the Actors curtains rise. “If you’ve got 1,000 people above you and you can’t fill 80 seats, something’s wrong with you,” King says. Though plenty of folks eat dinner before show time, we like grabbing a drink during mid-performance breaks. The ceiling is faux tin; the ebonized oak bar has a marble top. Gold valances cover the walls. For each show, Brown-Forman creates a specialty cocktail, like a Vampire Bite during Dracula.
The thing we enjoy most about Intermezzo is that by the time we start to get comfortable, a voice over the intercom tells us to return to the theater for Act II. The taste always makes us want to come back for more.
Photos: Courtesy Intermezzo Cafe