A new bar and eatery at the corner of Main and First streets will open just in time for those who need a stiff drink following a long gubernatorial campaign season.
Aptly named Corner, the establishment is located in the new Aloft hotel downtown, which will host its first guests Tuesday as well.
White Lodging is managing the bar and hotel and created the Corner concept, which is heavily beverage-focused, said Kelly Salat, food and beverage director for the Aloft downtown.
It is geared toward millennials, and its bar and menu is was developed around the fact that it sits on Louisville’s Whiskey Row.
Corner is a place for downtown workers to stop in for happy hour and a snack, a hangout for people attending events at the nearby KFC Yum! Center, and a late-night gathering spot for hotel guest and others enjoying the downtown night life.
“I see it being a place to meet before people go out downtown,” said Jason Druso, vice president of restaurants for White Lodging. “It was designed to attract locals, and it just happens to be attached to an Aloft.”
Corner includes bar seating, heated outdoor patio seating, and indoor lounge seating. The bar and eatery melds with Aloft’s atrium, which has a television, a pool table and small library.
The bar has more than 70 bourbons, which are organized on the menu based on the distillery from which they originated.
“I think that is more approachable” for bourbon novices, Salat said.
And Corner does something that Druso said he’s not seen in the Louisville area — it pairs bourbons and jerky.
Corner’s menu also includes a couple tacos including a fish taco and pulled pork taco, several burgers and small plates. The executive chef is Josh Carter.
Although customers could piece together a meal at Corner, it is not a full-blown restaurant. It employs 20 people between the front-of-house and kitchen.
Corner’s hours of operation are 4 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday; 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday; and 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday. It also will open two hours early before any major Yum! Center event.
In addition to Corner, Aloft has a small kitchen area on the opposite side of the entrance where not only guests but also locals can grab a piece of fruit, a coffee or a hot breakfast on the way into work. Breakfast hours are 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Druso said a lot of thought has gone into what type of concept White Lodge should open at the Aloft during the past year and what type of atmosphere it should have.
Everything has been meticulously planned, down to the music. White Lodging created its own radio station with local bands such as My Morning Jacket and Houndmouth, as well as popular and Americana music.
The music changes throughout the day, geared toward the type of music people like to hear at breakfast, during the middle of the day if they are working in the lounge area, or during a night out.
“Music will be a big part of this,” Salat said.