It was a happy day 81 years ago when Prohibition finally was repealed on Dec. 5, 1933, with the passing of the 21st Amendment. And here in Kentucky, we probably celebrated a little extra that day, as it meant some of those who lost their jobs at distilleries and bars when Prohibition began — the number hovers around 8,000 — could now dust off those pot stills and return to work.

Our email inboxes at Insider Louisville have been flooded with Repeal Day event notices, so here’s a roundup of how some of our favorite bars, restaurants and distilleries are celebrating tonight.

Repeal Day @ Proof on Main

Proof’s bartenders and staff will be dressed in Prohibition-era attire and will serve classic cocktails like the Singapore Sling, El Diablo, Champs Elysees and Bobby Burns. To get everyone in the mood, they’re passing out mustaches for guests. Admission is free.

Historian Rick Bell leads the Speakeasy Tours at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience.
Historian Rick Bell at the Evan Williams speakeasy bar.

Repeal Day @ Evan Williams Bourbon Experience

We told you about the party planned here earlier in the week, but let’s recap: Their event takes place in the basement speakeasy. Upon arrival and giving the correct password, guests can enjoy appetizers, bourbon tastings, door prizes, costume contests and an assortment of specialty Prohibition cocktails at a cash bar. It’s free and goes from 5-9 p.m.

Repeal Day @ The Exchange Pub + Kitchen

This swanky New Albany spot is doing it up right. Their Repeal Day celebration begins at 10 p.m. with swing music from the Billy Goat Strut Revue. Of course there will be throwback cocktails, tastings of Old Forester and even an exclusive speakeasy you can sneak into if you have the correct password. There will be a champagne toast at midnight provided by the ladies of the Va Va Vixens. Admission is $10, or free if you dress in 1930s attire. (Before the party, there is also a dinner and jazz event, and a special tasting event with Devil John Moonshine for $40.)

Postmodern Repeal Day @ The Monkey Wrench

The Monkey Wrench and Jim Beam are partnering up for a grand party. There will be free snacks during happy hour, Beam specials all night long, vintage movies, speciality cocktails, cigar girls and music by the Bourbonville Buskers. Bartenders and staff will be dressed in ’30s attire, and they suggest you do the same. The free party starts at 4 p.m. and goes all night long.

Disco Downtown/Repeal Day @ Meta

The ’70s collide with the ’30s as Meta celebrates its one-year anniversary as well as Repeal Day. The party starts at 10 p.m., and there will be a special cocktail menu, of course.

Repeal Day Happy Hour @ Rye

Sponsored by Do502 and Bulleit Bourbon, this happy hour at Rye runs from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and features $7 Bulleit throwback cocktails. Why not make a quick stop here on your way home to let the dog out?

Prohibition-Ends-jpg-jpgRepeal Day @ Apocalypse Brew Works 

Repeal Day doesn’t have to be all about bourbon, does it? The folks at Apocalypse Brew Works want in on the action, so they’re hosting their own craft beer Repeal Day party. The more the merrier, I say! Starting at 5 p.m. tonight, they’ll have a new Cherrywood Smoked Stout on tap.

Repeal Day Speakeasy @ Garage Bar

The Garage Bar is celebrating with classic cocktails and a facial hair contest. Yep, you heard that right. The winner of said contest gets a $50 gift card, so don’t touch that razor!

Repeal Day @ Bourbons Bistro

repealday-lg1Are you sitting down? Good, now I’ll tell you that Bourbons Bistro is rolling back their prices to 1933 and offering 25-cent shots of whiskey from 6-8 p.m. The staff will be dressed appropriately, and they want you to join in the fun as well. Best dressed will receive a $50 gift card. Time to bust out those quarters you’ve been saving for laundry.

Repeal Day @ Manny & Merle

Just as we were about to publish this post, up popped this tip on my Facebook page. Turns out Manny & Merle is planning a very secret pop-up speakeasy tonight in their basement, which was built in the 19th century. It starts at 10 p.m., and there will be live music by Willis Tucker.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle ( 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."