As far as catchy neighborhood nicknames go, Louisville is killing it. First came NuLu, and if you haven’t heard, there is also SoBro (the area south of Broadway that links Downtown Louisville to Old Louisville). And now, where Story Avenue meets East Main Street, near Butchertown Market and Butchertown Grocery (read a StyleBlueprint review here), a sweet spot called Butcherblock has developed. In late January, we visited this area between NuLu and Butchertown, and it’s safe to say that by the time you read this, the landscape may have changed yet again. Crews are hard at work transforming this block of rundown houses into hip, accessible storefronts bringing local dining and shopping to the neighborhood. In the last six months, food truck favorites Hi-Five Doughnuts, modern home store Stag + Doe, LOUaBULL gift shop and Vietnamese restaurant Pho Ba Luu have opened. Two new buildings are currently under construction that will house First Light Image photography studio and Red Hot Roasters’ second local coffee shop. Recently, we took a peek at the exciting retail and dining development happening on Butcherblock.

Talk about a great “before” and “after”! Here is Butcherblock before developer Andy Blieden got to work.

Talk about a great “before” and “after”! Here is Butcherblock before developer Andy Blieden got to work. Image: Google

Here’s a partial view of the new Butcherblock.

Here’s a partial view of the new Butcherblock.

Pho Ba Luu

1019 E. Main St., Louisville, KY  40206 • (502) 384-6822
Hours: Monday through Thursday, lunch — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., dinner — 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday lunch — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., dinner — 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; closed Sunday

When you step into the renovated digs of Vietnamese fast-casual concept Pho Ba Luu, two things immediately get your attention: the fragrant aroma (it’s the broth) and the well-designed dining space. We enjoyed a quick meal along with many other Louisvillians on lunch break — the place was packed! — and thought how fun this spot would be with a big group of friends, enjoying the stocked bar or the garden patio on a beautiful night. Let the big tree in the courtyard do its thing come springtime, and we guarantee this will be one of the most sought-after outdoor drinking and dining spots in town. The beef pho ($12) and seafood and pork crispy rolls ($6) were delicious (and the serving was large — plenty of broth and noodles to take home for a second helping at dinner), so it was nice that the meal was as impressive as the restaurant’s design aesthetic.

The beef pho at Pho Ba Luu is tasty, and you’ll likely have enough left over to stretch it into two meals.

The beef pho at Pho Ba Luu is tasty, and you’ll likely have enough left over to stretch it into two meals.

The bar at the back of Pho Ba Luu. We can’t wait to come back when the garage door and patio are open — it’s a perfect outdoor dining space.

The bar at the back of Pho Ba Luu. We can’t wait to come back when the garage door and patio are open — it’s a perfect outdoor dining space.

LOUaBULL

1015 E. Main St., Louisville, KY 40206 • (502) 883-3040
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday

LOUaBULL seems to have picked up where WHY Louisville left off; if you’re looking for fun Louisville t-shirts, hip pet accessories, whimsical children’s toys or any sarcastic, irreverent gift item, this is your spot. Painted frames cleverly display the witty t-shirt collection, making it easy to browse your favorite Louisville neighborhood to wear proudly on your chest. (Favorites include the ironic and iconic Straight Outta Prospect black and white shirt, the laugh-at-yourself Shut Up About NuLu Already and a classic Louisville Snuggler logo for babies.)

You can’t miss the bold exterior of LOUaBULL.

You can’t miss the bold exterior of LOUaBULL.

Find a clever t-shirt representing your neighborhood or Louisville and Kentucky in general.

Find a clever t-shirt representing your neighborhood or Louisville and Kentucky in general.

Stag + Doe

1013 E. Main St., Louisville, KY 40206 • (502) 424-6378
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday

From the outside, the charcoal shotgun house with the saffron door immediately lets you know that you are not about to enter your typical Louisville home store. And thank goodness! Stag + Doe, an eclectic home furnishing and decor store, gives Louisville shoppers something they previously haven’t been able to find in town: clean-lined furniture, earthy and handmade decor and unique art, all with a warm, modern vibe. Think Etsy meets West Elm meets a hipster studio in Brooklyn, but with reasonable prices. We were impressed by the choice of chairs interestingly displayed on the wall, the art collection and the assortment of pottery. Stag + Doe owners Julie Meehan and Jeff McAfee operate their interior design company studio threesixty out of the new retail space, and the furniture and art collections will often change. The owners are terrific merchandisers; you’ll enjoy browsing, and you might end up finding the final piece to complete your home decor puzzle.

This old shotgun house has been revitalized both inside and out.

This old shotgun house has been revitalized both inside and out.

Stag and Doe sells furniture, lighting, accessories, tableware, and much more.

Stag + Doe sells furniture, lighting, accessories, tableware, and much more.

Hi-Five Doughnuts

1011 E. Main St., Louisville, KY 40206 • (502) 409-5584
Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; closed Monday and Tuesday

Hi-Five Doughnuts is another can’t-miss storefront on Butcherblock, and when you pull open the rolling pin handle that adorns the sprinkled hot pink door, you know you’re in for a fun, tasty treat. Bakers Annie Harlow and Leslie Wilson, the “Ladies of the Morning” responsible for drool-worthy doughnut flavors such as bourbon caramel with bacon and toppings like Fruity Pebbles, recently opened their first store after having had great success selling their doughnuts out of a food truck. You can buy individual doughnuts (the menu constantly changes), a half or full dozen, or you can build your own doughnut using a selection of glazes and toppings. Come hungry.

If a rolling pin handle and a hot pink door adorned with doughnut sprinkles doesn’t scream fun, we don’t know what does!

A half dozen decadent doughnuts from Hi-Five Doughnuts, including lemon poppy seed, pistachio, bourbon caramel with bacon, and strawberry.

A half dozen decadent doughnuts from Hi-Five Doughnuts, including lemon poppy seed, pistachio, bourbon caramel with bacon, and strawberry.

First Light Image

1009 E. Main St., Louisville, KY 40206

Red Hot Roasters

1007 E. Main St., Louisville, KY 40206

First Light Image’s green shotgun house is nearing completion, but we’ll have to wait a little longer until we can sit and enjoy some small batch organic coffee at Red Hot Roasters. There will be an outdoor seating area — a perfect spot to enjoy a coffee after you’ve shopped the Butcherblock. Rumor is the coffee shop will also sell treats from Wiltshire Pantry and Ehrler’s ice cream.

The work continues on these two buildings, slated to house Red Hot Roasters (left) and First Light Image photography studio (right).

The work continues on these two buildings, slated to house Red Hot Roasters (left) and First Light Image photography studio (right).

We’re always excited to see new local businesses pop up, especially when they help revitalize an older area of town. With NuLu booming and more and more businesses opening in Butchertown, Butcherblock is poised to take advantage of casual shoppers as well as downtown commuters. Keep an eye on this once unassuming block, as the retail stores and food and drink options will surely develop a loyal following. And follow along as they grow on Instagram @staganddoelouisville, @hifivedoughnuts, @louabull and @firstlightimage.

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