The portmanteau “NuLu” means “New Louisville.” The neighborhood lies between the Central Business District, Irish Hill, Phoenix Hill, and Butchertown and has emerged as a new way of living and working in a historic urban area. The site of multiple hotels and apartment buildings, it is also a Louisvillian’s go-to for everything from plant-based soaps and custom candles, to small-batch ice cream and famous seafood. Here’s our guide to a few shops and eateries to check out during your next visit.
Your Updated Guide to NuLu
WHERE TO SHOP
Buff City Soap
815 E. Market St., Louisville, KY 40206 • (502) 653-5797
Hours: Monday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
Buff City Soap started in 2013 when former firefighter-paramedic Brad Kellum noticed his everyday soap was full of cow fat and synthetic materials. He and his girlfriend Jennifer Ziemianin, who was a registered nurse, started creating their own plant-based alternatives at home. Buff City Soap was born, and its second Kentucky location opened in NuLu in 2020. Every product — from hand soaps and foot scrubs, to body butters and shower oils — is plant-based, handmade daily, and guaranteed to be cruelty-free and void of harsh chemicals and animal fats. Some of the best-selling scents have fun names, too. Love Potion boasts notes of damask rose, peach, apple blossom, and Italian bergamot; while Unicorn’s aroma is full of apple mango, passion fruit, and exotic florals.
Maddox & Rose Marketplace
900 E. Main St., Ste. 104, Louisville, KY 40206 • (502) 290-6606
Hours: Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; close Monday through Thursday
Candles, room sprays, lotions and more are all available for purchase at Maddox & Rose Marketplace — but why buy ready-made products when you can create your own? The store’s main appeal is its experiential candle-making space, which offers more than 80 scents at a 30-person bar. With everything from coconut and cranberry to bacon and baked bread, there’s sure to be an appealing aroma for anyone. Experiences during normal business hours are currently available by reservation only due to COVID restrictions; private parties during non-business hours can be reserved by special request.
826 E. Main St., Louisville, KY 40206 • (502) 384-4450
Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m; Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.; closed Monday
Mamili, which means “to shop” in Tagalog, is an homage to owner Melissa Huff’s heritage. After a decades-long dream of owning a boutique, Melissa opened Mamili in a former boat store in NuLu. “I chose NuLu because when [my family and I travel], we always like to go to local areas, and support local stores, and support local businesses,” she says. The shop offers a variety of women’s clothing, jewelry, accessories, home goods, as well as a selection of men’s and youth apparel — all with an emphasis on locally sourced and individually crafted items. Mamili is also home to Melissa’s Mad Hatter 502 brand, which boasts a plethora of hats and fascinators in a variety of colors and styles — perfect for any Derby outfit.
Pappy & Company
843 E. Market St., Louisville, KY 40206 • (888) 834-9831
Open for curbside pickup while the storefront is temporarily closed
Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon has been around for more than a century, and Pappy’s great-granddaughters — who are also triplets — are keeping the family legacy alive with a shop that offers bourbon as well as an assortment of bourbon-themed goods. From decanters, flasks, and barrel heads, to branded T-shirts, playing cards, and golf balls, Pappy & Company gifts have serious Kentucky vibes. Can’t-miss items include bourbon-infused gourmet food goods, like the Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Nib Brittle; or the Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged Pure Maple Syrup, which won the 2020 Good Food Award.
Peace of the Earth
801 E. Market St., Louisville, KY 40206 • (502) 690-5707
Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Sunday through Tuesday
Handmade, fair-trade, and eco-friendly all describe the goods found at Peace of the Earth. The store’s owner, Leslie Delgado, opened the shop after years of studying essential oils and purchasing natural products for her family. Today, she uses the space to promote peace and sustainability while supporting fair wages and safe working environments for artisans around the world. Customers will find soaps, hand sanitizers, lotions and more from Leslie’s branded line, as well as a curated array of gift items — including jewelry, pet products, paper goods, arts and crafts elements, books, toys, and home goods.
803 E. Market St., Louisville, KY 40206 • (502) 702-4128
Hours: Thursday, noon to 4 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.; closed Monday through Wednesday
The aptly named Woman-Owned Wallet shop exclusively features products from women-owned brands. Owner Amanda Dare, who is also a fashion designer and the owner of ethical and sustainable clothing store The New Blak, opened Woman-Owned Wallet in August 2020 after working with graphic designers to create a Woman-Owned Wallet “W.O.W.” map — a guide to all the woman-owned businesses nearby. The map, which is available on the store’s website, is laid out so NuLu visitors can take a self-guided tour of the 30-plus women-owned businesses in the area. “We love being a part of [NuLu],” Amanda says. “The neighbors welcomed us with open arms!”
WHERE TO EAT
727 E. Market St., Louisville, KY 40202 • (502) 883-3331
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Formerly located on the first floor of a downtown Louisville apartment building, bar Vetti moved into the NuLu’s AC Hotel in 2020. The new space allowed the restaurant to double its seating capacity and expand its menu, which includes seasonal and regional Italian dishes infused with the tastes of Kentucky. Whether it’s seasonal mushrooms from Frondosa Farms or Jake’s Fresh Country Sausage, many of bar Vetti’s dishes use local produce, and/or house-made pasta. With its new location also came new offerings, including pantry items such as maple syrup and balsamic vinegar, as well as a variety of spirits and amaro.
825 E. Market St., Louisville, KY 40206 • (502) 785-5800
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.
Known for its Detroit-style pizza, Emmy Squared opened its first and only Bluegrass State location in NuLu in late 2020. Made with fluffy middles and cheesy frico crusts, the square-shaped pies are available in a variety of flavors. Vegetarians will love the Angel Pie, made with ricotta, mushrooms, and Truffleist mushroom cream; meat lovers can easily add pepperoni, sausage, bacon, chorizo, or even fried chicken to their pizza. The Louisville restaurant is understandably the only location with a hot brown pizza, but there is also a plethora of other menu offerings, including both red-sauce and white-sauce pies, as well as salads, sandwiches, burgers, and appetizers.
Gertie’s Whiskey Bar & Torino’s Sandwich Bar
821 E. Market St., Ste. 101, Louisville, KY 40206 • (502) 785-6800
Gertie’s Bar Hours: Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Closed Monday and Tuesday
Torino’s Sandwich Bar Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m; closed Monday and Tuesday
Gertie’s Whiskey Bar, which originated in Nashville, opened its second location in NuLu in 2021. Offering whiskey, beer, wine, and a selection of whimsically named cocktails, the space has a low-key, moody atmosphere. Its back door opens up toward NuLu Marketplace (the recently built mixed-use development with retail, entertainment, office, and living spaces), and its front door is technically the entrance to Torino’s Sandwich Bar. Guests at Torino’s can choose from a selection of signature sandwiches, entrée salads, and sides — and take them to go, or head behind the curtain for a more comprehensive drink selection. “We knew Louisville would be an ideal location for Gertie’s, our whiskey-centric cocktail bar,” says Pennington Pribbenow, the COO of Gertie’s Whiskey Bar’s parent company, Red Pebbles Hospitality. “The bustling atmosphere at NuLu Marketplace has the perfect vibe for Gertie’s and, ultimately, helped inspire the Torino’s Sandwich Shop concept, as well as the speakeasy at Gertie’s.”
632 E. Market St., Ste. 101, Louisville, KY 40202 • (502) 882-1516
Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Monday and Tuesday
Known for its premium, small-batch ice cream, Louisville Cream’s fun flavor options include Coffee with Bourbon Cream, Pistachio Honeycomb, and Bourbon Smoked Pecan, to name a few. The shop also offers a few vegan flavors, as well as baked goods, like brownies, cookies, mini pies, and other treats. Inside seating is currently unavailable due to COVID restrictions, but curbside pickup is an option, as is walk-up service — but know there is typically a line for the sweet treats.
The Seafood Lady
601 E. Jefferson St., Louisville, KY 40202 • (502) 210-9381
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 7 p.m.
Nichelle Thurston’s cravings for seafood platters like the ones she used to get in her home state of Florida eventually led to the opening of The Seafood Lady in 2015. She and her husband Luke serve everything from shrimp, lobster, and crab to tilapia, oysters, and even alligator tail. The restaurant has even been featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” and Nichelle just opened her second location in NuLu in this month. “It’s been a struggle … throughout COVID,” she says. “[I’m] really proud of that — being able to stick around through the pandemic. We had loyal customers that kept us going during this time.”
NuLu Bock Beer Fest
700 E. Market St., Louisville, KY 40202 • (502) 468-1516
Hours & date: TBD
If you happen to be in NuLu in the springtime, you just might be able to experience NuLu Bock Beer Fest, an annual event that celebrates bock beer — a rich and complex, malty, low-hop style lager. It has been said that Louisville’s first bock beer festival took place in the 1800s, and NuLu has kept the tradition alive. As bock means “goat” in German, Bock Fest typically kicks off with a ceremonial blessing of the goats, followed by multiple races for both kids and adult goats. The event takes place amid NuLu’s appropriately named streets — the goats race from Nanny Goat Strut Alley to Billy Goat Strut Alley. As a true neighborhood block party, Bock Fest is more than goat races — breweries that serve bock beer brews will often offer specials, and the event typically includes live music, a petting zoo, and other family-friendly activities.
600, 700, and 800 blocks of East Market Street
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Fall 2021, date TBD)
Each fall, the neighborhood celebrates all things NuLu with an annual street festival that began more than a decade ago. East Market Street — from the 600 through the 800 blocks — is shut down to traffic to make way for live music, food and retail booths, and a variety of activities for the whole family. The event provides a chance for people to learn more about local businesses in the area and celebrate the community’s growth. NuLu Fest typically takes place on the last Saturday of September. Updated information for this event, as well as for Bock Fest, can be found HERE.
Enjoy all the fun of NuLu!
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