The key will soon be mine!
The key will soon be mine!

Want to know what the key to success is? Never give up. That’s what I learned recently in my quest for the key to Louisville. After many years of hassling two mayors, I finally received the message — via Twitter — I had been waiting for from Mayor Greg Fischer: “@TheBarBelle mission accomplished re best #OldFashioned list. My people will get w your people re city key presentation. Well played!”

To catch you up to speed, I’ve been begging for the key to the city for years. In fact, the first time it appeared in print was in my Dec. 16, 2009, Christmas List when I asked for the keys to Louisville, along with a cure for hangovers, a lifetime pass to CityScoot, the Barret Bar to reopen (it did), Old Hickory to reopen (it did, too), a light rail track installed to Rich O’s (aka New Albanian Brewing Co.), and a faster metabolism (it slowed down), among other things.

The Tweet of a lifetime!
The tweet of a lifetime!

In early September of this year, after I hosted a successful pub crawl with more than 100 participants that brought roughly $5,000 to local businesses, I penned another plea to the mayor proving I am, indeed, a stand-up citizen who will most likely keep bugging him until I get what I want. Well, pigs flew that day and he tweeted me that he had one last challenge for me in order to earn the key: Find Louisville’s top 5 Old Fashioneds, the city’s official cocktail.

Not only did I scour the city for the very best, but I turned in six, plus a list of seven more that were recommended to me. And now, wherever I go, I get an earful about how I missed out by not trying the one from this place or that place. But who cares? The mayor’s tweet came in at 10:35 p.m. the night that piece was published, and his people have, indeed, been in touch with my people.

Cue the drum roll please … The date of my key ceremony is Tuesday, Oct. 27, at Bourbons Bistro at 5:30 p.m.!

Why Bourbons Bistro? Because that’s where I found one of the city’s best Old Fashioneds — with a maple bacon spin to it. The mayor’s people won’t release the agenda of the very important ceremony, but just told me I should come prepared with a speech.

Of course the ceremony is open to the public, so I’d be honored if you all came out for it and tried the delicious maple bacon Old Fash. I feel like I’ll be trying at least three of them so I can speak without soiling myself.

Let's raise a toast on Oct. 27.
Let’s raise a toast on Oct. 27.

So what exactly does this key do? Well, his people have also been hush on those details, but I’m guessing it gets me in to every rick house in the state, Fort Knox, all of Louisville’s bars, the secret pool on the rooftop of Metro Hall, the Pendennis Club (where the Old Fashioned was invented) and the freedom to coin terms like “Bourbonism” as often as I want.

Like my well-seasoned liver, this key is something I’ve been working on for a long time. It feels great to finally be recognized for my achievements.

So what’s next? Well, the world is my oyster shooter, so a Hometown Heroes banner on the side of The Back Door isn’t out of the question.

See you next Tuesday (Oct. 27)!

Sara Havens

Sara Havens

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."