What a year! We feel like it has gone by in a flash, and maybe we are a little wistful to see it go. Let’s chat about this year in review for Louisville, shall we?
Maybe you have blocked it from your memory, but Louisville started out the year in frigid conditions. With snow days piling on snow days, piling on zero-degree days, we wondered if it would ever warm up. Kids went from wearing their pajamas inside out to try to voodoo a snow day, to wishing they could go to school so they wouldn’t be attending class till mid-summer. By the time it hit 50 degrees, we were all casting off our puffer coats and wearing shorts like it was summer.
Spring brought new life to our city, and that was mainly due to a horse named American Pharoah. This horse stormed on the scene, winning the Derby, and then went on to win the Triple Crown. Louisvillians watched all the races like proud parents, many of us shedding tears of joy when the Triple Crown was won (*ahem*). And who doesn’t love watching Bob Baffert, aka the Silver Fox, on television all the time?
Louisville spent a lot of time under construction this year, with the new bridge being built next to the Kennedy Bridge. Downtown was a ticker-tape parade of cones, hazard lights and lane changes, much to the dismay of every single person trying to drive in and out of there. This new bridge construction made traffic to and from downtown a surreal experience, coming from the north or the south. The new Lincoln Bridge finally opened December 6, 2015. Pedestrians had a chance to walk the bridge before the first cars drove across it. In an event that was supposed to draw 5,000 people, nearly 50,000 showed up to walk in the dense morning fog. Check out our great photo gallery of this event here.
Downtown and the waterfront were utilized and displayed in all their glory. Empty lots and parking lots downtown were used all year as ReSurfaced venues. Here, there were pop-up gathering places for people to eat, chat, drink beer or bourbon and listen to music. Another first was a special exhibition of public art shown outside on the western edge of Waterfront Park, called Connect|Disconnect. Four installations were handpicked and curated by the city’s public art initiative. In the midst of this public art exhibition, events were held in that space, as well. One notable and tasty one was the Fried Chicken Throwdown. Louisvillians love their fried chicken, and this was no exception. Check out our photo gallery here.
Speaking of construction, one notable Louisville landmark neared the end of a three-year renovation project. The Speed Art Museum is set to open in March 2016 and in November, members got a sneak peek of the beautiful new building at their Big Reveal party. It was so gorgeous, even without any art in it, that we cannot wait to see it “fully clothed.”
Kentuckians were very prevalent in politics and political news all year. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., led the pack of media mentions, followed by fellow Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who announced his candidacy for president earlier this year. The state also had a heated race for governor this year, pitting two Louisvillians, Matt Bevin and Jack Conway, against each other. Bevin won the election and was inaugurated in December. The most popular Kentuckian in political news this year was not someone with a high-ranking position. It was Kim Davis, Rowan County clerk, who notably refused to sign marriage licenses of gay couples.
Enough about all that political stuff. Let’s talk about what Louisville loves: FOOD. We said goodbye to a few restaurants and (in)famous establishments. We welcomed new restaurants including, Fontleroy’s, Butchertown Grocery, Super Chefs, Le Moo, Artesano, Over the 9, The Diner, At The Italian Table and Joella’s, just to name a few. Yet, as another chapter begins, another one ends. Some chapter endings in Louisville were KT’s (now Le Moo), Austin’s (now a Goodwill), KingFish and, of course, Jim Porter’s.
Retail was moving and shaking this year. And we literally mean “moving”. Blink merged with Rodes for Her in the spring and left its Lexington Road location. Serendipity moved from Westport Village to Blink’s former space on Lexington Road. Liv Boutique opened last summer next door to Serendipity. Dover House & Mercantile recently moved on the corner of Lexington Road and Bauer from its old spot on Frankfort Avenue. The Lemon Tree, formerly Tradewinds in Westport Village, opened in Chenoweth Square. The Shirt Shop opened in St. Matthews Station near Molly Malone’s. Celebrations closed its SoFo location and moved everything back to the home base store in Chenoweth Plaza. New store Posh Home recently opened in Chenoweth Plaza. Blu Boutique moved from old Middletown to Shelbyville Road. Robin’s Nest moved from Lake Forest to Shelbyville Road, as well. Clay & Cotton closed its Norton Commons location, but still has its original location in the Highlands. Another notable closure this year was beloved children’s store JB and Me. Whew, that’s a lot of movement in a year. Louisvillians sure love to shop local, though.
For us here at SB Louisville, our team and our product have grown exponentially. We launched our SB Guide, which is a guide to the city, with where to shop, to eat and happenings around town. Even better, there’s an App for that! The SB App is free and gives you all this valuable information at your fingertips. We have added a sales manager, Meghan Tinker and Client Success Representative Elizabeth Gerber to help cover all parts of this great city. Our team is set and ready to showcase Louisville in all of its glory.
Most of all, we are thankful for you. Have a very Happy New Year and we cannot wait to see you in 2016!