Louisville Magazine

JAN 2017

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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70 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 12.16 FOOD FIX DIARY DIVE BAR No frills on the corner of McCready and Frankfort avenues, but there is plenty of neon to tease the neighbors. Patrick's Liquors Bar has the most impressive sign on the strip: The pink and green lettering drapes a flickering, translucent veil over the full parking lot on Tuesday evening. An opaque shadow from the damp, mossy awning leads Robert and me to the door. Squeaking sneakers and blaring commentary greet us. The Louisville Cardinals are up by three, and almost every seat holds a white-haired gentleman offering his two cents or more. "We don't serve food here," Peter, the bartender, recites to us. "But you can order something next door" — at the Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot — "and bring it over." He holds a pose with convincing eye contact as Robert and I inch toward the exit. "Do you promise to come back?" he calls. Under the weight of Peter's hope, we promise to return. After a basket of fried cheese from the smokehouse, Robert and I follow the splintering fence back to Patrick's. Witnesses to our verbal contract with Peter welcome us with two open seats near a gallery of domestic taps. The U of L game is over, and fans are belly-up at the bar for one more. Dingy meets glamorous inside Patrick's. Decades of dust cling to the many Marilyn Monroe faces posing near an old cigarette machine. Budweiser Clydesdales trot above "Patrick's" in green stained- glass lettering, framed by two fish tanks full of vibrant neon swimmers. Tiny square mirrors convert pillars on the back wall into sparkling disco tubes. Giant, bottle-shaped refrigerators store beverages. Local faces are framed and mounted. Painted plywood, hung like saloon doors, conceals the bathrooms. Decorative shower curtains wrap the stalls in the women's room, with doodles of monstrous, flying genitalia drawn on the wall — by "Teresa," according to the scribbled commentary. A bathroom sign informs me that the party at Patrick's may start as early as 1 p.m. on weekdays. "How do you feed them?" I ask Peter when I return to the bar, pointing to the fish tanks. "I don't," he says. "The owner does it. She gets up on a ladder every two weeks." There's one other woman in the bar right now, and she's leaning on the man seated next to me, staring into his eyes. The clock strikes 9 p.m., and she closes the deal, pressing her mouth firmly against the man's face as if they're aboard a commercial flight that is hurling in flames toward Earth. Peter points to me, unfazed by the passion radiating inches from my left arm. "Can you make an Old Fashioned?" I ask. A nearby customer chuckles. Moments later, I sip the sweetest bourbon drink to ever pass my lips. Next, Peter pours pink, translucent wine from a box into a pint glass and serves it to the entangled lovers now touching me. — Wesley Bacon Patrick's Liquors Bar 3202 Frankfort Ave.

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