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    It can be hard to grasp the grandeur of the Victorian mansions in Old Louisville. And even harder to imagine is the immediate urge to experience an overnight stay. But now, dreamers have the chance to book a night’s stay at the Louisville Bourbon Inn, a bed and breakfast located at 1332 S. 4th Street, right in the heart of historic and charming Old Louisville.

    The grand reopening of the building formerly known as The Inn at The Park was something out of a storybook. The massive staircase, adorned in perfectly coifed Christmas greenery, nestled next to the three-piece jazz band serenading guests as they entered the ornate black double doors on the first floor. Guests paraded around the bed and breakfast sipping “leaded and unleaded” punch, as co-owner Gayle Warren called it, sponsored by Heaven Hill bourbon. Hors d’oeuvres on shiny silver platters glistened under a crystal chandelier in the dining room.

    Owners Gayle and Herb Warren, who also own the Dupont Mansion bed and breakfast down the street, know a thing or two about preserving history. The Bourbon Inn retains the original woodwork and 19th-century style built in 1887 by the president of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, Russell Houston. The bourbon aspect incorporates modern amenities in the mansion, as well as inviting and encouraging the spirit of bourbon in Kentucky. The six bedrooms are bourbon-themed and named after the Warrens’ favorite bourbon cocktails; for example, the Grand Derby and Manhattan rooms.

    Image: Herb and Gayle Warren at the ribbon cutting

    Howard Rosenberg, chairman of the Old Louisville neighborhood council, said the Louisville Bourbon Inn is the next addition to a neighborhood with a wealth of diversity. “I think it’s fantastic and it’s great for the neighborhood,” Rosenberg said. “A lot of people come to this neighborhood because we have a lot of events, and this adds another dynamic to it. It fits in with what’s happening throughout the city and the state. To me, it’s a great enhancement to what Gayle and Herb have already been doing.”

    It’s not your average bed and breakfast, though. Every room has its own bourbon station housed in a bourbon barrel and the breakfast and desserts are bourbon-infused, as well. Guests can order bourbon-apple French toast or bourbon honey glazed bacon for breakfast. Following cocktails in the second-floor Bourbon Room, which was once the Houston Library, guests can devour bourbon and chocolate pecan pie or bourbon balls for dessert.

    After the ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication certificate from Mayor Greg Fischer’s office, guests were free to roam the mansion and enjoy bourbon tastings upstairs. The Louisville Bourbon Inn is a testament to Rosenberg’s thank you speech: when you give to the community, it always gives back to you.

    Learn more about the Louisville Bourbon Inn at their website or Facebook page.

    All photos by Avery Walts


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