Louisville Magazine

FEB 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 2.19 39 In the sober morning light at Air Devils Inn, Gloria Bramer jabs a key into the lock of a battered side door with peeling paint, a door that interrupts a mural of vintage military fighter planes. Out front on Taylorsville Road, across from Bowman Field, the sign for band listings reads, "Happy Birthday Gloria." She just turned 70. Once inside on this Tuesday, Bramer flicks on the lights and passes an orange bumper-pool table, a mounted snarling hog's head and dusty model airplanes hung from the ceiling. e place smells like last night's beer and feels like it might still have a hangover. She walks behind the bar, where the sinking floor is causing shelves, already groaning beneath the weight of bourbon, to slant worryingly toward a collection of beer taps in the middle. e low winter light illuminates the Air Devils oddities — the black-and-white 1940s photos of men drinking beer; the red leather booths; the pictures of fallen patrons, like Bambi and Spaghetti Joe, taped to the bar mirror. A TV sits beneath a shelf that holds everything from a 1962 Oktoberfest mug to a 1991 Indy 500 beer can to an early-'60s novelty doll called a Charlie Weaver Bartender. e old vending machine contains, inexplicably, a lava lamp, an asthma inhaler, an empty pack of Camels, a bikini mug and a ree Stooges tie. It's nearly 10 a.m. Time to pull the cash drawer. Turn on the neon beer signs. Running With the Devil A day in the life of Louisville's most storied and historic dive bar. By Chris Kenning Photos by Mickie Winters Clockwise from above left: bartender Gloria Bramer, co-owner Kristie Shockley and bartender Alan Downie (from left); late owner Daniel Shockley; and behind- the-bar photos of deceased patrons, including Bambi (center).

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