Residents of Norton Commons universally agree that one of the greatest things about living in the East End urban village community is having virtually all your daily living needs in one convenient location. And whether you’re a resident or visitor, you will find an impressive array of things to do and see in just one day spent in Norton Commons.
You can start your day with a brisk workout at the neighborhood YMCA.
Norton Commons YMCA Development Director Andrea Merritt says the facility is not only a great morning workout venue, but an outlet for families to interact together and also apart. “We have many families that walk to the Y as we are centrally located within the neighborhood. You can come and spend time together in the basketball gym or go swimming in the pool. While you exercise on the wellness floor or partake in a group fitness class, your kids can play in our Kids’ Club or climb along the traverse wall in Club Y.”
After you’ve sweated it out, you deserve a treat so walk on over to Fix Coffeehouse and Bakery for a cup of joe and one of their signature lemon blueberry scones. Owner and Norton Commons resident Caryn Kovatch will celebrate three years in the neighborhood in July. “The great thing about Norton Commons is you’re in a tightly woven neighborhood of wonderful people and amenities, and you really don’t have to leave the neighborhood to experience it,” said Kovatch. “It’s a small, quaint coffeehouse and when patrons come in, they see familiar and friendly faces, like the TV show Cheers back in the day.” Kovatch said the must-try coffee treat at the coffeehouse is “miele” – which is cinnamon, honey, a shot of espresso and milk.
Next, you might be walking your little ones to school at highly-rated Norton Commons Elementary, and then heading to Commons Corner Apothecary to pick up that prescription you need before your lunch meeting at Verbena Cafe.
Co-owner Mike Cortino says Verbena is the perfect location for business lunch meetings and hosting clients. For eight years, the café, which serves breakfast and lunch all day, has grown up with Norton Commons serving residents and visitors alike. “We have people we see every day and we’ve become very close to them,” said Cortino. “At the same time, we are a comfortable, family-oriented place.” Verbena’s menu includes more than 90 items from crepes and breakfast items to salads, soups, sandwiches and burgers.
After a delicious lunch, the ideal way to spend an afternoon is to explore the shops and boutiques in Norton Commons, like the newly-opened combined shop featuring Spark and Blu. Spark Owner Lana Greenwell said they will be celebrating the grand opening of the new space the weekend of March 1.
Spark was previously one of the pop-up shops known as the Cottages in Norton Commons that ran from July to December last year and are currently in their winter shutdown. This is Greenwell’s first brick and mortar space for Spark, which sells ladies apparel, jewelry, accessories and rustic home gift items that are affordable but also stylish, said Greenwell. Along with Spark and Blu, you can pop in other shops while you’re out including 7 Southern Giraffes, Lulubelles, Something Blue, Rabbit in the Moon, Set the Stage, ONSA F&B, Underpinnings, or The Hat Girls.
After picking up a great new scarf, bag or gift, take care of yourself and your skin with Dr. William Smith at the new-to-Norton Commons Louisville Dermatology Institute. The practice offers a full range of medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology services. Next on the agenda it’s time to get your beloved canine member of the family groomed by the friendly folks at the popular Pet Station Salon and Boutique. They offer teeth brushing, flea baths as well as grooming and a line of shampoos, leashes and dog treats to pamper your pet.
Now you take your freshly-fluffed pet home and it’s probably at least close enough to 5 p.m. by now to justify a happy hour stop at Commonwealth Tap. Indulge in a signature cocktail at this popular award-winning wine and whiskey bar. Chat with neighbors and friendly sommelier and owner Kenny Andreozzi, who will surely steer you to something delicious from his expertly curated selection of wine, beer and bourbon.
With your palate whetted, it is time for dinner and you could spend days trying all the options Norton Commons has to offer. For an upscale option unique to Norton Commons, 502 Bar and Bistro offers an award-winning chef at a part sports bar, part Pan-Asian establishment, while newcomer Sushi Master is a more casual, sumptuous alternative to get your fresh sushi fix. But you could also choose from pizza joint Johnny Brusco’s, locals’ favorite Karem’s Grill & Pub, Italian eatery Mercato Italiano, family-friendly Citizen 7 or the time-tested Tea Station Asian Bistro. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you can find it here. After dinner, dessert at Gelato Gilberto will have you pining for Italy.
Last, but not least, Norton Commons’ active social and events calendar offers fun events year-round from holidays to the summertime Music by the Water concerts featuring live music and entertainment. All in all, in your one day at Norton Commons, you can work out, grab coffee and a pastry, walk your child to school, pick up your prescription, visit the dermatologist, have lunch, dinner, cocktails and shopping, and even experience live music. But you never left Norton Commons. That’s the beauty of it.