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    21 Questions

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    Maud Welch, 28, co-owns the bar Hell or High Water on Whiskey Row downtown. She lives in the Highlands.

    How’d you make your first dollar?

    “Mucking horse stalls.”


    Earliest childhood memory?

    “Building elaborate forts with my older brother in a hayloft. As the co-owner of Hell or High Water, he remains my comrade, particularly when it comes to constructing and actualizing dreams.”


    When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

    “On Broadway. My dreams were dashed in a seventh-grade production of The Wizard of Oz, when I realized I suffered from acute stage fright and blanked on every single line. It didn’t help matters that I had recently broken my arm and was, ironically, playing the role of the Tin Man with a shoulder-high, neon-red cast.”


    Most noticeable quirk?

    “Slight accent — a cross between England and New England, despite my Kentucky origins.”


    Besides your current one, what’s the best job you’ve had?

    “Teaching cotillion in high school. The combination of working with kids and swing dancing on the job was about as great as it gets.” 


    Favorite possession?

    “My cat, Henry, has the charm of Tyrion Lannister and the elegance of Lord Grantham.”


    Favorite thing hanging on the walls at home?

    “My boyfriend recently built a beautiful 13-foot birch bark canoe with a First Nations community in Quebec. It looks pretty epic strapped against the wall in our apartment.”


    What’s on your nightstand?

    Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, poems by Leonard Cohen, Jane Austen’s Emma, my diary, and Julie Andrews’ recent memoir — those Broadway dreams die hard.”



    “Bird poop brings good luck.”


    What Louisville dish have you eaten the most?

    “Caffe Classico’s panini de pavo (smoked turkey, Swiss, tomatoes, baby spinach). I like to add the sea salt chips to the sandwich — it’s all about the crunch.”


    Something nobody knows about you?

    “I have a pure hatred for olives. (As a bar owner, I really wish I didn’t.)” 


    What/who makes you laugh?

    “The Marx Brothers, Peter Sellers, Lucille Ball and Mary Tyler Moore.”


    Favorite Kentucky Derby winner?

    “I grew up with an iconic black-and-white photograph of Secretariat’s 31-length lead in the Belmont.”


    Least favorite word?

    Deadline. The idea of a line going dead gives me a distinct sense of impending doom.” (Us too. — Ed.)


    Something you wish you had known when you were younger?

    “The world keeps turning even if you fail a test, and don’t take your imagination for granted.”


    Biggest regret?

    “I wish I had thought to ask my grandfathers a boatload of questions when they were both alive.”


    Fill in the blank: “_________’s Louisville” should be the next banner on the side of a building.

    “Ben Sollee. He always has Louisville and Kentucky in his heart and on his mind.”


    Something unexpected you love in Louisville?

    “Sergio’s World Beers has all the elements of a hidden gem: understated exterior, extraordinary beer collection.”


    If Actors Theatre staged a production about your life, what would it be titled?

    “The Big End of the Jigger.”


    What brings you the greatest joy?

    “Being on a dance floor or in a garden.”


    What makes somebody a Louisvillian?

    “A Southern charm and a Northern tolerance.”



    Unusual job benefit?
    “Naming cocktails.”

    What do you collect?

    Greatest movie ending?

    “Cheese, despite lactose intolerance.”

    What triggers your “aha!” moment?
    “A cold swim.”

    All-time-favorite album?
    “Paul Simon’s Graceland.”

    Last online purchase?
    “Plane tickets to New York.”

    What word do you overuse?


    This originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

    Illustration by Shae Goodlett,

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