There is no question that Louisville has been blessed by the creative thinking and original concepts of Lori Beck and Tyler Trotter. Their deep love and vast knowledge of beer led them to open their first venture, The Louisville Beer Store, in NuLu and then Holy Grale in the Highlands a few years later.
Both ventures are still ripe with authenticity, and when word began to spread that Lori and Tyler would be converting the old Victorian home behind the Holy Grale’s biergarten into a cafe and “bed and beverage,” we had no doubt it would be something worthwhile. While the “beverage” side of the business was old hat, the “bed” would be a new experience. Inspired by the many B&Bs they had stayed at during travels abroad, particularly to breweries boasting B&Bs in Belgium, they knew the fit was right, and they also knew it would offer them a location for brewers to lay their heads when in the city.
The Gralehaus cafe, which opened in February 2014 and is located on the first floor of the “haus,” was a fairly quick success. The “bed” end of things took a bit more time to fall into place. The doors to the inn now open, there is little doubt it was worth the wait.
Two rooms are tucked on the second floor of the Gralehaus, with a third occupying the uppermost level of the home. Each room expresses a different personality, revealed beautifully through the treasure trove of locally sourced goods used to construct and decorate the space. Indeed, you will be hard pressed to find an element of each room that doesn’t have a local tie. Lori and Tyler enlisted SCOUT on Market to handle all of the furnishings and fixtures in each room. They reached out to local artists like Letitia Quesenberry, Mickie Winters and Jeremy Vessels for paintings, sketches and handmade statement pieces, and they took a stroll down the street to neighboring Carmichael’s Bookstore to curate a collection of reading material focused on locally beloved topics like bourbon, horse racing and, of course, beer.
I recently had the pleasure of touring each room, taking in the warm textures, soft lights and colorful details firsthand. We left the hustle and bustle of Gralehaus behind as we started up the stairs and entered the first room, known as The Den.
The Den is decidedly cozy, but still refined, the worn-wood ceiling offering a beautiful contrast to the Edison bulb-laden chandelier. A vintage tape deck sits on the desk and is accompanied by cassette tapes, hand picked by Tyler who happens to be a member of the band Watter. Original brick is left exposed in the bathroom and custom drapes, with leather tiebacks by Avant-Gard Interiors, offer privacy from the Gralegarten that sits below.
A few steps away from the entrance to The Den we find the St. Brigid’s Deluxe guestroom, named for the beautiful church across the street, seen through the room’s tall windows. An old brick fireplace acts as the centerpiece of the main wall, and a brilliant starburst chandelier hangs over the bed, the gold starburst formation playfully mimicked on the pale blue accent walls. As with The Den, local touches are in abundance, the starbursts painted on the walls by State Champs, the miniature botanical gardens courtesy of Boston’s Floral Couture, and the soaps and lotions found in the luxurious bathroom made by Peace of the Earth. The bathroom is the picture of tranquility, a large soaking tub and expansive shower ensuring guests have a peaceful stay.
Continuing up one flight, we explored the final room of the Gralehaus B&B’s trio, aptly coined The Sky Parlor. Offering views of both the Gralegarten and St. Brigid’s Church, The Sky Parlor exudes privacy and comfort. Original wooden beams immediately catch the eye as they stretch across the vaulted ceiling and eclectic chairs flank a “skateboard table,” handmade by local artist Jeremy Vessels. The bathroom boasts two windows overlooking the Gralegarten, perfect for people watching. A clawfoot tub invites guests to relax, and a Crosley record player with records found at Louisville’s own Guestroom Records ensures that you’ll find the ideal music, whatever your mood.
The Gralehaus is an oasis in the heart of the Highlands, a home away from home for locals and tourists looking for an escape replete with the creature comforts of home. While someone is on call 24-7, guests are left to come and go as they please, a simple key code shared prior to arrival, allowing them to welcome themselves into whichever room they’ve chosen for their stay.
Ample and artfully designed info books are included in each room, offering both general details and loads of local in-the-know tips and tricks for getting around the city.
With rates typically ranging from $179 to $199 per night, the Gralehaus deals out value and authenticity in spades. That’s something not easy to come by these days, but is a guarantee when you are experiencing a place brought to life by the dreams of Lori and Tyler.
Things to know:
- Maximum occupancy of two people per room
- All guests must be 21+
- Self check-out is 11 a.m.; self check-in anytime after 3 p.m.
- No refunds or cancellations
- For inquiry about same-day check-in, email [email protected]
Gralehaus is located at 1001 Baxter Ave., Louisville KY 40204. Learn more at (502) 454-7075 or online here.
Photography in today’s article by Christine Mueller Photography
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