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“Doesn't Get Much Better than This”

Brown Hotel Lobby Bar
Ranked #5 of 1,850 Restaurants in Louisville
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed October 8, 2013

The Lobby Bar is a must when visiting the Brown Hotel. We had drinks and snacks on the afternoon of the first day and dinner on the second day. Everything was just about perfect.

The Brown lobby in terms of architecture and décor is an iconic place. The bar, which occupies one end of the large lobby, deserves special recognition on its own. Each time I visit, I look forward to the total experience: the ambiance, the food and beverages, and the friendly service. A wide variety of seating is available, including sofas, comfortable arm chairs, as well as the more conventional tables and chairs.

We arrived on the early side and made sure to ask about having Rachel as our server. She had done a fine job with our drinks on our first visit. Rachel showed up with her delightful personality and wit and got us started with drinks and bar snacks. I had my typical Bloody Mary, which I must say was significantly improved over the ones they served in past years. (Zing-Zang mix makes all the difference). My dinner companion decided to have her recently coined Kay’s Cranberry Vodka.

The entrée decision was a no-brainer for both of us. We had the famed Hot Brown (which I’ve had on many, many occasions). What better place to order such a dish—the very place it was invented. The open-faced sandwiches were very filling and we both felt that we’d had about enough for one night. But, then, the thought of a Kern’s Derby Pie struck us as being essential to our last Louisville dinner for this trip. So, throwing caution to the wind, we shared a two-slice serving of Derby Pie and coffee. Ah. What a wonderful dining experience! Filling, yes, but oh so good.

The experience at the Lobby Bar was very pleasant both nights. We both appreciated the lack of noise and obnoxious music, which is so commonplace today. We were able to converse with each other and with our server without having to yell or repeat our order or questions. So, we talked and simply enjoyed each other’s company and the wonderful atmosphere of the Brown’s magnificent lobby.

Dinner/drinks at the Lobby Bar are moderately expensive, but not unrealistic for the location and atmosphere. Moreover, with certain dishes, such as the Hot Brown, you can get them in the bar somewhat cheaper than the similar dish served in the nearby English Grill. A word of caution, though: the entire English Grill menu is not duplicated in the Lobby Bar. Fortunately, the Hot Brown is.

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Thank ColonelDoctorDennis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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561 - 565 of 609 reviews

Reviewed October 7, 2013

I suppose even good tips (and a smile) don't even guarantee good service anymore in this country, let alone recognition when doing so. Even at the fanciest, most highly touted of places. However, funny enough, that this wasn't entirely true depending on the night, wait staff and so on. Some seemed a bit harried and stressed. I did experience some really good and not so good on attentiveness of service. You'll have to most likely ask for a glass of ice water and the trio of snacks accompanying your drinks. One night I felt totally like I was invisible. The drinks are pricey but good as is the menu. All in a beautiful, highly ornate, comfortable "old" character & charming lobby setting. The infamous original HOT BROWN recipe here won't disappoint even if it's NOT on your diet! Don't miss that Kern's kitchen slice(s) of the traditional scrumptiously presented Derby Pie (oh boy).

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Thank Airbus300
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2013

We went to the Lobby Bar specifically to try the Hot Brown. And it was worth it! Service was impreccable, prices on par for what we expected.

Thank solonomad42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2013

After two visits to the Lobby Bar at The Brown Hotel, I can advise against it...I expected a high tab, but the wait was almost 20 minutes for a 4 drink order. One small bar, one bartender on a Friday evening...it's not going to work. Stopped down after a wedding reception the next night and a slightly larger order was another wait and came without one of the drink orders. Next time, I wll walk across the street to Blue Grass Brewing Company or next door to Market Place.

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1  Thank bikynmike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2013

Great comfort food. Wait staff was a little distant. Couldn't eat the whole portion but certainly tried because it was so expensive. $18 made it the most expensive sandwich on the menu.

Thank BedandBreakfastgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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