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'Whiskey Alley' First Look at Downtown Louisville Hotspot

LOUISVILLE, KY — A group of property owners along downtown Louisville's Whiskey Row have shared the first renderings of what they are calling Whiskey Alley as Louisville Business First reports.

Collectively the group has applied for an entertainment destination center designation on Washington Street between First and Second streets that could be closed for events. The group consists of local business owners and developers such as Bill Weyland of Weyland Ventures; Tim Mulloy of Mulloy Commercial Real Estate; Valle Jones of Mayin LLC; Steve Poe of Poe Companies; Tommy O’Shea of O’Shea’s Irish Pub; and Rick Kueber of RDKJ Properties LLC.


Whiskey Alley would, for instance, host outdoor music with dining and beverage options in a “unique, pedestrian-friendly atmosphere in the cultural center of the region,” the group said in a statement.


The entertainment destination center proposal is pending with Louisville Metro Council and has earned support from Mayor Greg Fischer and multiple local agencies, including the Louisville Arena Authority, the Waterfront Development Corp., Louisville Tourism and the Louisville Downtown Partnership.



“Whiskey Alley will be to Louisville what Frenchmen Street is to New Orleans, Broadway is to Nashville and Beale Street is to Memphis. Whiskey Alley will be a can’t miss destination for locals and tourists to River City, and it will be the place to enjoy the best of what Louisville has to offer," they said.


The property owners also noted that Washington Street was an “epicenter” of live music and entertainment downtown decades ago, saying they envision a return to this type of atmosphere.


The entertainment destination center proposal is pending with Louisville Metro Council and has earned support from Mayor Greg Fischer and multiple local agencies, including the Louisville Arena Authority, the Waterfront Development Corp., Louisville Tourism and the Louisville Downtown Partnership.


"Louisville Tourism is excited about the enhancement to Louisville’s extensive entertainment options that comes with the re-purposing of an important city block into Whiskey Alley," Karen Williams, Louisville Tourism President and CEO, said by email. “It’s a perfect way to welcome and engage travelers, giving them a sense of place while inviting them to explore where the history of Louisville’s story with Bourbon began. Whiskey Alley will be an asset that fulfills both convention and leisure visitor opportunities while supporting Bourbon City’s delivery of authentic bourbon tourism experiences.”


WHISKEY ALLEY


Waterfront Development Corp. President Deborah Bilitski echoed Williams.


“With more than 2 million visitors a year to Waterfront Park, we’re thrilled to have more neighboring, high-quality entertainment options available. Since we rely on financial support of park users to continue to maintain and grow Waterfront park, we are excited to continue to grow our base of support which is possible through innovative developments like this,” Bilitski said by email.


Scott Cox, chairman of the Louisville Arena Authority, which oversees the KFC Yum Center, believes the downtown arena and Whiskey Alley will be a perfect marriage before and after basketball games and concerts.


“I could not be more excited about it. The more businesses that open in our area the better, particularly new businesses in our TIF district, which is very helpful,” Cox said by phone. “This just adds to this whole level of attractiveness, and we think it will drive people downtown and help the city grow.”


Rebecca Matheny, executive director of the Louisville Downtown Partnership, said Whiskey Alley will allow the city to celebrate existing events at the Yum Center while also giving downtown an eclectic venue to brainstorm new offerings. She also noted this entertainment concept is trending elsewhere.


"Lots of other cities are already doing this," she said. "So we are excited to not only see this model, but to see this model from this sophisticated group of investors."


Rick Kueber, a Sun Tan City Co-Founder and Planet Fitness franchisee, is the most recent addition to Whiskey Row after he purchased 121 W. Main St. between Old Forester Distilling Co. and Patrick O’Shea’s Downtown. Kueber purchased the roughly 20,000-square-foot building in late December through RDKJ Properties LLC for nearly $3.2 million.

Kueber told me earlier this month that he plans to move his offices into the building alongside some new restaurant concepts.


By Marty Finley – Reporter, Louisville Business First

https://www.bizjournals.com/louisville/news/2020/01/17/exclusive-heres-the-first-look-at-downtown.html

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