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Monday, January 26, 2009

"Knight Time" in Louisville

Taking up the mantle laid out by Sir Dayvd of Oxfordshire, The House of Warrick took "Knight Time" on the road to Louisville, Kentucky for some history, great food, first class theater, drinks, a classic movie and great times! We booked a room at the historic Seelbach Hotel, now run by Hilton, on 4th Street in downtown Louisville. The historic post card is from its Grand Opening in 1905.

Here's a view from the Grand Stair Case looking down at the lobby. The Seelbach is named after its founders, two German immigrant brothers who "done good" in Louisville in the late 1800's. Every President except for Nixon, Carter and now Obama has staid here since 1905. Movie stars, European Royalty and 1920's Gangsters loved this place too, especially around Derby time!

Here's the opposite view of the Grand Stair Case. Kentucky's only 5 Star restaurant, The Oak Room, and the World's 44th Best Bar are just up the stairs to your right.

Here's Lady Allwinky inside The Oak Room. Al Capone loved this restaurant! Just to Lady Allwinky's left is a private dinning room where Al and his boys would play Blackjack, dine and drink their illegal stock while checking in on their "Southern Investments". A fake Oak Panel Door leads to an escape stairway for a quick getaway! The food was Excellent!

Here's a scene of the Seelbach at night from a 1907 postcard. We left a similar scene as Derrick from Albania, who is studying Political Science at the University of Louisville, took us in the hotel courtesy car to the Kentucky Center for the Art's to take in the Broadway Musical, Wicked.

Wicked is an excellent musical based on a book written by George Maguire in 1996. As the by line says, "So much happened before Dorothy dropped in." It's an excellent commentary on what is really evil and good! It sort of stands common wisdom and the land of Oz on its head and takes it for a spin! Without spoiling the fun, you either need to read the book or see the play. A true master piece! Having seen the musical on Broadway in New York, this stage production and crew were actually superior to that experience! Of course, it didn't hurt that we had front row center aisle seats either!

After Wicked, we decided to hit the 4th Street Live section of downtown across from the Hotel for some fun and several night caps! Renovated from an old downtown glassed in mall called "The Galleria", 4th Street Live is now teaming with bars, dance clubs, comedy clubs, rock concerts and restaurants. We ended up in "the Pub"...Authentic British...well as authentic as we can get here anyway. We enjoyed great music, Old Speckled Hen on draft and the night life!

Still being "wired for sound" at 2am we decided to turn on the 52" LG Plasma TV in our room and take in a movie on HBO. Dune was playing, a cult classic from 1984. It's a very strange movie, but I love it and never grow tired of watching it. It's based on the 1965 Frank Herbert novel of the same name.

Dune's star is Kyle MacLachlan, who plays the character of Paul Atreides.  You might know him more now as Dr. Orson Hodge, the husband of Bree, on Desperate House Wives.  Paul Atreides is the "Chosen One" who brings an end to the Spice trade and Peace to the planets after kicking everyone's arse! Lot's of fun sci-fi-quasi religious overtones in this one! Killing words are my favorite! And of course "The Water of Life", which in the case of Sir Davyd of Oxfordshire means a neat Scotch!

The last victim of Paul Atreides is Feyd Rautha, played by non other than (at the time) new rock god, Sting, from the Police. He actually did a great acting job in the film. I laughed at this poster as it states that Dune is "now available on videocassette"! Wow! That predates Sir D's CD player!

Here's another historic postcard from the Seelbach, which depicts its real treasure located in the basement. It's called the Rathskeller, and is modeled after a Bavarian Castle great hall close to where the Seelbach brothers grew up in Germany.

Here's a modern view from my iPhone. It's been a bar, a restaurant, party room, etc. over it's 104 year history. It is covered in glazed pottery from a kiln in Cincinnati, and is really a remarkable site to behold!

Here I am, enjoying my morning Starbuck's at the empty Rathskeller bar before our drive home. Lady Allwinky and I decided that we must rent this place out for a Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale party some day!

So there you have it! Books, plays, movies, beer, history, food and nameless entertainment!

Sir Hook the Master of Knight Time of Warrick


  1. Excellent look round a impressive old building.. That looked like a Good Night out...:))

    A good meal and a Theatre seat and then a nightcap.. ahh La Dolce Vita.

    Why do i always smile and go awwwww... when i see Authentic British Pub in the USA i can imagine you guys smiling when you see "American Diner " when you are here... LOL

    Hey Sting has my Swimming trunks on!!! give em back!! LOL...

    The Rathkeller looks great too. but shouldn't that be another beer first thing in the morning??? LOL...

    Top Trip H and A


  2. ahhhhhhhhh Luh-a-vul my kind of town ; )
    so much so we keep sending our daughters to live there!

    It is a good size "small-town" feeling city with lots of hidden features - worth many a weekend trip to explore

    On a girls get-away trip one weekend we stayed at the Seelbach before Hilton got ahold of it and made it a modern, but nice hotel...

    it still had the antiques and old world qualities that aren't valued by Hilton or any of the big chain hotels...
    we took our daughters with us and stayed there a few years later and I was so disappointed in the modernizations...still an awesome place but Hilton sucked the real personality out of it

    There was a wedding going on one weekend with the reception in the rathskeller, apparently you have to book it years in advance for certain dates - it is an awesome venue!

    glad you two enjoyed a weekend in "God's Country"

    Lady Suzanne of Greenbriar

    proud daughter, born in God's Country (Kentucky for Sir Davyd)

  3. God's Country eh? lol...that guy sure has a lot of real estate.. seeing as I live on God's Holiday Island...In God's County of Oxfordshire..

    No Name needed. :)

  4. Excellent post, Sir Hook.

    I'll vote for a comedy club, pub, and party at Rathskeller.

    Yes, the Commonwealth of "dark bloody ground" (a.k.a. Kentucky) has a rich history worth exploring. Louisville (at least the Falls of the Ohio) is also where Lewis met Clark to start their great expedition west.

    I was born across the river, but have some roots in Kentucky.

    The U of L Cardinals football team enjoyed great success when my daughter was in the marching band; she left and now they suck (just my observation).

    Sir Bowie of Greenbriar