Back when the weather was cooperating and walking outside was more enjoyable, we strolled through some of our favorite neighborhoods in Louisville, perusing the local shops and boutiques and discovering more of the city. We realized there are cool specialty shops all over Louisville and wanted to share a few of our favorites here for your next day on the town, too. Got any others we could visit? Tag us in your top pick on Facebook or Instagram (@lifestylecommunities).
You caught a glimpse of this spot in our Instagram pic, and it’s definitely one to see in person.
Parkside Bikes opened its doors in June of 2009 as Louisville’s first used bicycle shop. The idea was simple: create a bike shop where quality bicycles were refurbished and sold at an affordable price. They wanted anyone to be able to walk into Parkside and ride a bike that would fit their riding style and budget (later, they began selling new bikes, as well).
With bikes and accessories covering nearly every inch of the original Bardstown Road shop, Parkside opened its second location at 2509 Grinstead Drive. With more space and closer proximity to Cherokee Park, Parkside was able to to stock a rental fleet of road, mountain and lifestyle bikes. They even offer service repairs on bikes, too. Check out their site or stop in for more info.
The Guitar Emporium is a great little shop in the eclectic Highlands neighborhood with more than 40 years in the guitar business. As they say, they’re here to make sure that your needs for all things guitar are taken care of. Whether you’re searching for your first guitar or bass (or your 200th), they specialize in the buying and selling of string instruments, and offer restringing, repairs, lessons, appraisals and more.
Better yet, this place is staffed by a crew of real-world musicians who play the instruments and accessories available in the store. That gives them a pretty good understanding of all the details and information you might want to know.
They also let you test drive some things (guitars, amps, effects, etc.) which makes it a cool place to pop into whenever you can.
This list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t inject some bourbon into it. That wouldn’t be very Louisvillian of us, would it! We’re not talking about a simple glass of the good stuff, though. We’re talking about small-batch bourbon truffles. And yes, you read that right.
Art Eatables began in 2011 as a candy company with no interest in making traditional bourbon balls. So they worked hard to develop something new, and introduced the world to their bourbon truffles. The combination of rich Belgian-style chocolates and elegant flavors of Kentucky’s most-loved bourbons come together in a taste you have to try yourself to believe. But don’t take our word for it - plan your own visit and see what everyone is raving about.
Mark Payton Glass Center
We highlighted this shop before, after attending one of the “Flame-Your-Own” classes owner Mark Payton hosts. It’s worth another inclusion here, because it’s something you really have to try.
The Glass Center, formally known as Glassworks, is directly behind the Louisville Slugger Museum and on the same block, so you could hit both in the same day and still have time for lunch. You’ll be wowed by the impressive creations they make with glass, but the workshops are a clear favorite for us. They offer a few, including Fused Glass and the Flame-Your-Own we showed you before. Bonus of taking a class? You get to try something few people have experienced and end up with a gift after for someone you care about. Sounds pretty good to us.
Better Days Records
No specialty shop list is complete without a classic record store, and Better Days Records really delivers. They’ve been gifting the Louisville area with some of the best vinyls and compact discs on the market since 1982.
Regular visitors will tell you that the shop is well-organized and has an incredibly helpful and knowledgeable staff. It doesn’t hurt that their prices are reasonable, too. If you’re on a tight timeline, you might want to save this gem for a day where you can leisurely peruse the selection for as long as you’d like. You’d be surprised by what you could uncover.