Down One’s inviting patio is dog-friendly. | Courtesy of Down One

After nearly six weeks of tinkering, tweaking, remodeling and revamping its menu and focus, Down One Bourbon Bar is preparing to open once again to the public on Monday, July 9. Parent company Al J. Schneider decided to ditch the upscale vibe and become a place more rooted in history and tradition — by focusing on bourbon and bluegrass.

Down One always has been good at serving up fine cocktails, but its menu often lacked focus, as did its dining room. The bar area was casual and inviting, but the dining space seemed a little stuffy and pretentious.

Insider stopped by Friday afternoon and found that Down One has shed its dual personality in favor of a more uniform, casual environment. The British-style phone booth is gone, sadly, but in its place is a comfy little lounge area. The seating now feels like one encompassing space, and the bar is the star of the show, as it should be.

The Southern Comfort Biscuit features cured ham, pimento cheese, bacon and a fried green tomato. | Photo by Sara Havens

The new menu leans heavy on Southern-inspired dishes like the Hot Brown Biscuit, fried catfish sandwich, cheese curds and smoked brisket chili. And fried green tomatoes can be added to any salad for an extra $4.

There also are more affordable options like street-style tacos (chopped beef brisket, pork shoulder carnitas, beer can chicken adobo, or masa crusted catfish), which are priced at $3.50 and include a trip to a small topping bar in the corner, where you can add everything from pico to pickles.

Two highlights we’d like to come back for include the flat iron street corn made with queso cotija, tajin and bourbon salt ($5), and Frito Pie, which takes the sirloin chili and adds corn ships, cheddar cheese and onions ($10).

Down One often is a busy lunch spot, and its menu now features a quick-service, 30-minute lunch guarantee on most dishes. The inviting patio also is dog-friendly.

Down One will feature live bluegrass every Thursday, as well as the first and third Saturdays of the month. It’s located at 321 W. Main St. and will open on Monday, July 9, at 11 a.m.

Below is a closer look at the new space and menu.

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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."