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Old 12-09-2009, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Dayton, OH
1,225 posts, read 4,173,733 times
Reputation: 540

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Headliners Music Hall
The Big Room. That’s what it is. A very big room, hence the “Hall”. I think this was some sort of industrial building, but they put in a fairly big stage in the front, and a raised area for the sound booth and a bar and very tall backbar to the rear. And there is a balcony on the right-hand side of the hall, with some seating, which reminded me a bit of the Vogue in Indianapolis.

Like the Vogue, Bogarts in Cincy, and the Double Door in Chicago, there is no seating on the ground floor, so wear your sturdy shoes because you will be standing all evening for a show. Unlike these places Headliners is boxy in shape rather than long and narrow, so there is more space for the crowd to gather in front of the stage, which makes for better site-lines to the performer. Suprisingly the sound was pretty good here since you’d expect a really ‘live’ space.

The crowd seemed to zone itself into people who came for the band & music into the front, and talkie types in groups to the rear by the bar area. The vibe probably depends on the crowd. The artists the night I went was David Rawlings, Gillian Welch, and members of the Old Crow Medicine Show (who I’ve seen in Dayton) + a local opener. So you have an “American/alt.country” act which means more of a crunchy granola/retro hippie/beardo hipster crowd, plus old folky/bluegrass fans like yours truly, plus a few country types. Not a rowdy crowd but an enthusiastic one. I can see how this place could get rowdy, & noticed they are using off-duty Louisville cops as security (maybe).

Parking. No. There is none. Or very little. You will walk. The place does not have enough parking for its capacity, so people park on Lexington Road, all the way up the hill into the city, in front of “no parking” signs which the city apparently does not enforce on show nights. I guess people park on Payne, too. I came a bit early and got lucky, finding a spot in front of one of those old distillery buildings facing Lexington (this place is apparently part of that Distillery Commons complex).

Would I go back? Yeah, certainly. I notice they do book some name acts, plus a lot I havn’t heard of before. So this could be Louisvilles answer to Bogarts or the Vogue. It has about the same or maybe more capacity.

Preston North of Eastern Parkway

I went here during the day and later at night. I don’t know the name of this area, the western fringes of Germantown, perhaps, or do they call this area Schnitzelburg? I probably drove through here hundreds of times on Eastern Parkway, but never knew about that little business district north on Preston. You can’t make a left turn easy here, so easier to drive on by. So a few comments on places in this vicinity, some nostalgic, others current.

Swiss Park: Anyway, scoping out Zanzibar I found out this place is about half a block of Swiss Park! I always wondered where Swiss Park was because I have good memories of it. We moved to Louisville in the early summer of 1971 and Swiss Park was one of first places we went to that summer. Back then it was still being run by the Swiss, I guess. This was a beer garden/picnic grove, with an outdoor dance area, bandstand, and little booths selling food, drink, and games of chance (wheel of fortune things). I recall an early version of the Rhinegold Band was playing, probably one of their very first gigs. I think the Kaelins also played here. All under the leafy trees in the golden light of a hot, humid, late summer afternoon, this grove surrounded by bungalows and shotgun houses.

Nowadays this is a FOP union hall.

St Josephs Infirmary: Another personal connection to this area. Long gone, but I was in the ER and ICU there, then another two weeks recuperating, after a bad car crash in Bullit County. The hospital is replaced by …a lot of open space…and these suburban style apartments.

But down along Preston next to them is that little business district. They still have some old-school stuff, like Bills(or was it Bobs) Barbershop, a little two-chair neighborhood barber. I saw they had Korfages Foor Covering, newer store, there. Related to the florist? Probabley somewhere in the family tree (one of those big Louisville families where everyone is distantly related).

So still some business. But also vacant stuff, including an old movie theatre. This neighborhood could go either way...it could go down the tubes, ending up like the failed neighborhood business districts in Dayton. I also notice what was probably the gay bar (based on the address), in the ground floor of an old apartment building…but it looked closed? Another empty storefront? We’ll see, later.

Sunergos Coffee. Nice. I seem to recall they use fair trade beans. They do their own roasting, too and sell 16 oz bags of it to take home, as well as the usual coffee house fare (various types of coffee drinks, food, etc). And they had the usual coffee house patrons, working on their laptops, reading, etc. Very quiet. Slightly upscale feel here. Noticed a bulletin board, and they had parking in the back. But I was on foot, so I bought a cup to go and headed next door to…

Nord’s Bakery : By the sign outside and the counters and cases inside one can see this is was a surviving old-school neighborhood bakery. I don’t think they sell rolls or bread anymore. So this was more of a pastry place, donuts, éclairs, cinnamon rolls, snickerdoodles, etc. But also Christmas cookies, including pfeffernuss and those soft wedding cookies. The bakery had a side area were you can sit down and eat. So I can see getting coffee at Sunergos and then a donut or éclair at Nords.

Continuing down the street there was a Christian bookstore in a corner store space, then I think Z-Bar, then not much. A number of vacant storefronts, but also a barber college (of all things). This neighborhood, though old, seems to be in good shape, being taken care of. I noticed people putting out Christmas lights and such.

Saint Stephens Cemetery: Near the end of this reach of Preston was this old cemetery. I saw this on an old Union army map of Louisville, out in the country at the time of the Civil Wa, so it was one of the first Catholic cemeteries in the city (another, St Michael, is also in Germantown). So, being the big history buff, I wanted to check it out. Turns out there are some very old gravestones in front, with inscriptions in German, some of which I could read.

Preston Pub Crawl

Well, not really, but I did try more places than I was expecting to. We’ll start from worst to best:

Tynks: That gay bar that I thought might be closed turned out to be open after all. The rainbow neon bar light was aglow, signaling a “family friendly” establishment. So, I went in to …a lesbian bar from the Twilight Zone. This place was an utter dive bar, and not in a good way. U-shaped bar area with creepy lighting, then a little corridor in purple black light (under the apartment stairs) to what I guess is the dance floor. Back to the U-bar, next door to it was a big room with the pool tables, with what looked like straight rednecks & their old ladies playing pool. This will never do, oh no. Never finished my beer. Too depressing.

So, walking down the street to Zanzabar I hear what sounds like a pretty good rock riff coming from this other place, which turned out to be….

Uncle Pleasant: So I goes in. Smaller place with the beer taps and bar in front, but a dance floor/stage area next door, seating and game tables to the rear (foosball? They still have foosball?). What was different about this place was the floor-to-ceiling heavy wood paneling and the shelf running around the room at waist height so you can set your beer glass down. Small detail, but nice touch. They had pretty good beer on tap for what is a quasi-dive bar. Something called Schlafely.

The band turned out to be one of those Pearl Jam/Nine-Inch-Nails droning rock things. Started out good, but lost my interest. This could be a good place with the right act, reminds me of some Dayton places. Seems I had heard about Uncle Pleasant before, that it replaced the old Tewligans as a punk/alt rock venue for awhile? Don’t recall for sure.

Zanzibar. I went here once before and it was very dead and unfriendly (& I was ignored by the bar staff). I would have never come back, but decided to try it again. Good that I did, because this time, a totally different vibe. Crowded, energized, and a more efficient and attentive staff.

The place has an odd layout. Long bar to the left extends to the back, past this partition or room thing, then forms this U shape. Behind that is the stage area. Booths on the right wall. Lower ceilings. The front area is more for food service (I saw that a bar maid was waiting tables) while the back is more for drinking and music. Décor is weird; a mix of dark and light colors. Can lighting over the long “front” bar, and these vintage promotional posters for the old “Louisville City of the 70s” campaign on the walls (something that I remember from when it was current).

From what I can tell they serve big portions of food (based on what my neighbors at the bar were eating). But I came for the music. This place had two great live bands, opener was this young band called Adventure. Followed by the Bad Seeds doing this R&B stuff. Either of these are equal to what I hear in Dayton, probably a bit better. They had a very responsive audience, too. Fun crowd. Definetly a return and I am going to try the food next time.

Next, maybe some talk about walks, and some restaurant things rather than bars (Louisville is just too late for me). And maybe this stuff belongs on a blog rather than city-data?
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:12 AM
 
7,021 posts, read 15,204,860 times
Reputation: 3444
Quote:
Originally Posted by JefferyT View Post
Headliners Music Hall
The Big Room. That’s what it is. A very big room, hence the “Hall”. I think this was some sort of industrial building, but they put in a fairly big stage in the front, and a raised area for the sound booth and a bar and very tall backbar to the rear. And there is a balcony on the right-hand side of the hall, with some seating, which reminded me a bit of the Vogue in Indianapolis.

Like the Vogue, Bogarts in Cincy, and the Double Door in Chicago, there is no seating on the ground floor, so wear your sturdy shoes because you will be standing all evening for a show. Unlike these places Headliners is boxy in shape rather than long and narrow, so there is more space for the crowd to gather in front of the stage, which makes for better site-lines to the performer. Suprisingly the sound was pretty good here since you’d expect a really ‘live’ space.

The crowd seemed to zone itself into people who came for the band & music into the front, and talkie types in groups to the rear by the bar area. The vibe probably depends on the crowd. The artists the night I went was David Rawlings, Gillian Welch, and members of the Old Crow Medicine Show (who I’ve seen in Dayton) + a local opener. So you have an “American/alt.country” act which means more of a crunchy granola/retro hippie/beardo hipster crowd, plus old folky/bluegrass fans like yours truly, plus a few country types. Not a rowdy crowd but an enthusiastic one. I can see how this place could get rowdy, & noticed they are using off-duty Louisville cops as security (maybe).

Parking. No. There is none. Or very little. You will walk. The place does not have enough parking for its capacity, so people park on Lexington Road, all the way up the hill into the city, in front of “no parking” signs which the city apparently does not enforce on show nights. I guess people park on Payne, too. I came a bit early and got lucky, finding a spot in front of one of those old distillery buildings facing Lexington (this place is apparently part of that Distillery Commons complex).

Would I go back? Yeah, certainly. I notice they do book some name acts, plus a lot I havn’t heard of before. So this could be Louisvilles answer to Bogarts or the Vogue. It has about the same or maybe more capacity.

Preston North of Eastern Parkway

I went here during the day and later at night. I don’t know the name of this area, the western fringes of Germantown, perhaps, or do they call this area Schnitzelburg? I probably drove through here hundreds of times on Eastern Parkway, but never knew about that little business district north on Preston. You can’t make a left turn easy here, so easier to drive on by. So a few comments on places in this vicinity, some nostalgic, others current.

Swiss Park: Anyway, scoping out Zanzibar I found out this place is about half a block of Swiss Park! I always wondered where Swiss Park was because I have good memories of it. We moved to Louisville in the early summer of 1971 and Swiss Park was one of first places we went to that summer. Back then it was still being run by the Swiss, I guess. This was a beer garden/picnic grove, with an outdoor dance area, bandstand, and little booths selling food, drink, and games of chance (wheel of fortune things). I recall an early version of the Rhinegold Band was playing, probably one of their very first gigs. I think the Kaelins also played here. All under the leafy trees in the golden light of a hot, humid, late summer afternoon, this grove surrounded by bungalows and shotgun houses.

Nowadays this is a FOP union hall.

St Josephs Infirmary: Another personal connection to this area. Long gone, but I was in the ER and ICU there, then another two weeks recuperating, after a bad car crash in Bullit County. The hospital is replaced by …a lot of open space…and these suburban style apartments.

But down along Preston next to them is that little business district. They still have some old-school stuff, like Bills(or was it Bobs) Barbershop, a little two-chair neighborhood barber. I saw they had Korfages Foor Covering, newer store, there. Related to the florist? Probabley somewhere in the family tree (one of those big Louisville families where everyone is distantly related).

So still some business. But also vacant stuff, including an old movie theatre. This neighborhood could go either way...it could go down the tubes, ending up like the failed neighborhood business districts in Dayton. I also notice what was probably the gay bar (based on the address), in the ground floor of an old apartment building…but it looked closed? Another empty storefront? We’ll see, later.

Sunergos Coffee. Nice. I seem to recall they use fair trade beans. They do their own roasting, too and sell 16 oz bags of it to take home, as well as the usual coffee house fare (various types of coffee drinks, food, etc). And they had the usual coffee house patrons, working on their laptops, reading, etc. Very quiet. Slightly upscale feel here. Noticed a bulletin board, and they had parking in the back. But I was on foot, so I bought a cup to go and headed next door to…

Nord’s Bakery : By the sign outside and the counters and cases inside one can see this is was a surviving old-school neighborhood bakery. I don’t think they sell rolls or bread anymore. So this was more of a pastry place, donuts, éclairs, cinnamon rolls, snickerdoodles, etc. But also Christmas cookies, including pfeffernuss and those soft wedding cookies. The bakery had a side area were you can sit down and eat. So I can see getting coffee at Sunergos and then a donut or éclair at Nords.

Continuing down the street there was a Christian bookstore in a corner store space, then I think Z-Bar, then not much. A number of vacant storefronts, but also a barber college (of all things). This neighborhood, though old, seems to be in good shape, being taken care of. I noticed people putting out Christmas lights and such.

Saint Stephens Cemetery: Near the end of this reach of Preston was this old cemetery. I saw this on an old Union army map of Louisville, out in the country at the time of the Civil Wa, so it was one of the first Catholic cemeteries in the city (another, St Michael, is also in Germantown). So, being the big history buff, I wanted to check it out. Turns out there are some very old gravestones in front, with inscriptions in German, some of which I could read.

Preston Pub Crawl

Well, not really, but I did try more places than I was expecting to. We’ll start from worst to best:

Tynks: That gay bar that I thought might be closed turned out to be open after all. The rainbow neon bar light was aglow, signaling a “family friendly” establishment. So, I went in to …a lesbian bar from the Twilight Zone. This place was an utter dive bar, and not in a good way. U-shaped bar area with creepy lighting, then a little corridor in purple black light (under the apartment stairs) to what I guess is the dance floor. Back to the U-bar, next door to it was a big room with the pool tables, with what looked like straight rednecks & their old ladies playing pool. This will never do, oh no. Never finished my beer. Too depressing.

So, walking down the street to Zanzabar I hear what sounds like a pretty good rock riff coming from this other place, which turned out to be….

Uncle Pleasant: So I goes in. Smaller place with the beer taps and bar in front, but a dance floor/stage area next door, seating and game tables to the rear (foosball? They still have foosball?). What was different about this place was the floor-to-ceiling heavy wood paneling and the shelf running around the room at waist height so you can set your beer glass down. Small detail, but nice touch. They had pretty good beer on tap for what is a quasi-dive bar. Something called Schlafely.

The band turned out to be one of those Pearl Jam/Nine-Inch-Nails droning rock things. Started out good, but lost my interest. This could be a good place with the right act, reminds me of some Dayton places. Seems I had heard about Uncle Pleasant before, that it replaced the old Tewligans as a punk/alt rock venue for awhile? Don’t recall for sure.

Zanzibar. I went here once before and it was very dead and unfriendly (& I was ignored by the bar staff). I would have never come back, but decided to try it again. Good that I did, because this time, a totally different vibe. Crowded, energized, and a more efficient and attentive staff.

The place has an odd layout. Long bar to the left extends to the back, past this partition or room thing, then forms this U shape. Behind that is the stage area. Booths on the right wall. Lower ceilings. The front area is more for food service (I saw that a bar maid was waiting tables) while the back is more for drinking and music. Décor is weird; a mix of dark and light colors. Can lighting over the long “front” bar, and these vintage promotional posters for the old “Louisville City of the 70s” campaign on the walls (something that I remember from when it was current).

From what I can tell they serve big portions of food (based on what my neighbors at the bar were eating). But I came for the music. This place had two great live bands, opener was this young band called Adventure. Followed by the Bad Seeds doing this R&B stuff. Either of these are equal to what I hear in Dayton, probably a bit better. They had a very responsive audience, too. Fun crowd. Definetly a return and I am going to try the food next time.

Next, maybe some talk about walks, and some restaurant things rather than bars (Louisville is just too late for me). And maybe this stuff belongs on a blog rather than city-data?

Your comments are welcome here. Keep it up. As well as you thought you knew the city, I think you are realizing there is a lot more to it than you first thought. Also, it can be diifcult to judge establishments based on one visit sine you get a "static" picture. But you gave a nice review. That area is generically termed "Germantown," but it is mostly a colloquial term for a broad swath of land and neighborhoods. The old city of Louisville is full of old commercial districts like that--that is how the city developed. The area you were in is known as St. Joseph. Also nearby you have Scnitzelburg, Parkway, Audubon park, etc. The Korphage building is new because the old theatre it used to be in burned down. That entire area is fairly safe and well kept. It is a mix of old timers, working class redneck types (of which you saw at Tynk's which is actually a butch lesbian bar and gets very crowded), and a very good mix of young urban hipsters and UofL students, priced out of the Highlands but amassing a very impressive counter culture. There is another strip similar to this up Goss Ave, and there are corner bars all over Germantown. As stated, a few more you would enjoy would include Swan Dive, the listening room at 930 (actually connected to a progressive church), the Scnitzelburg, and Seidenfaden's Cafe. I know you said you have been to Lisa's Oak st Lounge before. You would also like the food and live music upstairs at Zeppelin Cafe in Germantown. You mention Dayton, since you live there, but in my humble opinion, Germantown alone is more hip than anything in Dayton, although Dayton does have a good "dive bar" music scene. And of course this comes as a quartenary type urban neighborhood for Louisville. Population wise, Louisville is only around 300k larger than Dayton in population, but it feels and lives substantially larger and more urban, and there is just much more to do. I am sure you know about Backseat Sandbar and Consuming Louisville. if you use those, in addition to leoweekly.com, you can get a better idea of what is going on. As far as bar crowds, keep in mind bars are open until 4 am, so therefore many people do not come out until after midnight, unless it is to see a show.
http://theswandive.net/
So, as I see it, you are not done exploring greater Germantown. When you are ready, I will give you a guide for other neighborhoods, based on music.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Dayton, OH
1,225 posts, read 4,173,733 times
Reputation: 540
Siedenfadens...yup..this is an example of one of those big Louisville families. I was in high school with a Siednfaden and I'm sure she is distantly related to the bar somehow.

Quote:
Louisville is only around 300k larger than Dayton in population, but it feels and lives substantially larger and more urban, and there is just much more to do.
Only? LOL..that is quite a bit larger. But yes, you are correct, much much more going on, but I also like that Louisville is still in pretty good physical shape, places like Germantown, at least. And yes I am seeing Louisville different with these many happy returns than I did when I lived there, learning more about the city and what it offers.

I'd like to know more about this place:

Quote:
....the listening room at 930 (actually connected to a progressive church)...
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:15 PM
 
7,021 posts, read 15,204,860 times
Reputation: 3444
Quote:
Originally Posted by JefferyT View Post
Siedenfadens...yup..this is an example of one of those big Louisville families. I was in high school with a Siednfaden and I'm sure she is distantly related to the bar somehow.



Only? LOL..that is quite a bit larger. But yes, you are correct, much much more going on, but I also like that Louisville is still in pretty good physical shape, places like Germantown, at least. And yes I am seeing Louisville different with these many happy returns than I did when I lived there, learning more about the city and what it offers.

I'd like to know more about this place:
The 930 Art Center: The 930 Listening Room

It is located where Germantown, actually specfically the Schnitzelberg and Paristown Pointe neighborhoods meet Shelby Park. It is located inside a big converted warehouse and is literally just a room. It is run by a progressive urban church known as Sojourn. However, the acts are rarely if ever anything to do with religion. I am pretty much a no religious kind of kind and I never felt offended at a show there, and I have been twice.

This area is on the verge of a come back but still pretty seedy, and is located on another one of Louisville's old neighborhood commercial corridors, Logan Street. You may have heard of the Keswick Democratic Club, which is also nearby. If in the area, be sure to stop by Omar's which is a little dumpy fast food place run by Pakistani immigrants, but they actually have a Pakistani menu that is to die for (this was a year ago I was there so it may have changed, as I am now living in Florida).
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