Courtesy of Mint Julep Tours
Courtesy of Mint Julep Tours

In this week’s Monday Business Briefing, we told you about the consignment furniture store Eyedia vacating its Mellwood Avenue space on Jan. 8. Although they won’t say where they’ll open next, we do know now that Mint Julep Tours & Transportation will be taking over their storefront at 1631 Mellwood Ave.

The move by the tour company from their current NuLu headquarters will give them more space and a garage in which to park their fleet of vans and buses. The bourbon boom has helped create steady growth for their business, and the fact that their tours are entertaining, professional and fun keep people and businesses coming back.

“As the bourbon and tourism industries in Kentucky have grown, so have we,” said co-founder and owner Sean Higgins in a press release. “It was time we made a move that allowed us to continue to expand and grow. We’re extremely excited about this new space and can’t wait for the opportunities that will come along with it.”

The 7,000-square-foot building sits on the corner of Mellwood and Frankfort avenues, directly across from Apocalypse Brew Works. Mint Julep Tours plans on building a new garage on the property for its numerous vehicles, which should be completed this spring. They were able to secure a loan from the Louisville Metropolitan Business Development Corp. to assist with costs.

Sean and Lisa Higgins started Mint Julep Tours in 2008. | Courtesy of Sean Higgins
Sean and Lisa Higgins started Mint Julep Tours in 2008. | Courtesy of Sean Higgins

Higgins tells Insider he first heard the space might come open in the fall of 2015, and he expressed interest due to its location and space.

“It was an absolutely perfect match for us as it kept us downtown in the thriving Butchertown area and central to all the visitors and hotels we serve,” he says. “Since we have been growing not only in the tour market but corporate and social events, this plan will help our entire team collaborate in an open floor plan with a unique design element that Eyedia had created.”

One of the company’s newest tours, which began earlier this month, is a partnership with the Kentucky Derby Museum and offers guests a chance to see Triple Crown winner American Pharoah frolicking at the Ashford Stud Farm in Versailles, Ky. And Higgins says there’s lots more in store for 2016 as they partner with various distilleries for exclusive events.

Since the new headquarters is just a stone’s throw away from Apocalypse and just around the corner from places like Silver Dollar and Louis’s the Ton, I asked Higgins if there’d be opportunities for after-tour parties or pre-tour meet-ups, and it’s an idea he already had pondered.

“We will be hosting a grand opening with that same idea in mind,” he says. “Our team is anxious to be able to walk across the street and enjoy a cool beverage after a hard day’s work.”

For now, tours will continue to depart from the Mint Julep Tours Gift Shop inside the Galt House.

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville. She's known around town as the Bar Belle and updates her blog (barbelleblog.com) daily. 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."


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