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Review of Phoenix Hill Tavern in Louisville

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating
User Rating 3 Star Rating (1 Review)


Review of Phoenix Hill Tavern in Louisville
(c) 2007 Jessica Elliott

Phoenix Hill Tavern is Louisville's oldest nightclub, located at the corner of Baxter and Broadway in the Highlands. The two-story club houses five different bars, each offering a different type of music or entertainment.

The Experience

Phoenix Hill Tavern is an interesting place. It's Louisville's oldest nightclub, defined by the old taxicab that sits on the street in front of the building when the club is open. The walls on the inside are covered in Americana memorabilia as well as mementos from the club's decades-long run. However, Phoenix Hill's most unique attribute is the five different bars that combine to make it the most diverse nightclub in Louisville.

Three of Phoenix Hill Tavern's bars showcase live, local bands every weekend – typically cover rock bands in the Saloon and Roof Garden and acoustic, original bands in the Taproom. Both the Roof Garden and the Saloon also occasionally have headliner concerts. Phoenix Hill's Deck Bar, the club's designated smoking section, is filled with DJ-played dance music. The front of the club houses a karaoke bar and diner.


As far as a live music venue, Phoenix Hill Tavern is one of the best in Louisville. On Friday and Saturday nights, three of their stages are occupied by live bands – sometimes local cover bands and sometimes national headliners. The best part of having three different bands playing in one venue is that there's always something for everyone. If you prefer acoustic music, then you're probably going to fall in love with the Taproom. If you love head banging, you're probably going to love the Saloon or Roof Garden. If you love to dance, you'll probably spend your time on the Deck Bar.


You're either going to love or hate the crowd at Phoenix Hill Tavern. In fact, most of the local complaints about the establishment are about the bar's crowd. Phoenix Hill attracts a diverse group of customers – you can't really fit its crowd into any one stereotype. You're just as likely to see someone celebrating their 21st birthday at Phoenix Hill as you are to see a senior citizen dancing it up on the Deck Bar.

People are friendly at Phoenix Hill and expect that the other people at the club are friendly as well. Expect to have strangers strike up conversations with you, and expect a lot of those strangers to be fairly intoxicated. Phoenix Hill thrives on noise and interaction, so it's not the place to go if you're more interested in intimate conversation with friends than live music and dancing.


Phoenix Hill seemingly has any liquor you can think of, so the bartenders can likely make you any cocktail you request. The beer selection, on the other hand, is pretty basic. Don't expect to find any rare imports on the shelves. The price of drinks at Phoenix Hill is fair and the drinks aren't overly weak or strong. Expect to find better drinks for lower prices than the Fourth Street Live bars, though the prices aren't nearly as cheap as some of Louisville's hole-in-the-walls.


If you're headed out to Phoenix Hill with plans to have a couple of drinks and hear some live music, then you're probably looking at spending $20, including the cover charge, your drinks, and tips for the bartenders. If you're planning on heading out with a designated driver and drinking all night, then you could be looking at spending nearly $50, depending on what you drink.

The cover charge at Phoenix Hill ranges from $5 to $10, though it could be more if you're there to see a headliner concert. The average drink price is $4.50, with domestic beer on the lower end of the scale and premium liquor on the higher end.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 3 out of 5
Phoenix Hill Tavern, Member mzach71

While the scene inside may be exciting and fun for someone looking for a lively and loud enviroment, living near the Phoenix Hill Tavern is definietely not a good thing on a Wednesday night. I've been in this bar on a typical weekend night many times and enjoyed myself, but stay away from this place on Wednesdays. On a typical Wednesday night, you'll hear cars pulling into your apartment parking lot (if you unfortunate enough to live within a few blocks) around 9 or 10pm. The noise across the street from the bar itself has never been a problem for me, but the crowd that exits at last call (around 3 or 4am) is a serious issue. People screaming at the top of their lungs (male and female) fights, urinating in public and simply the most obxoxious and disrespectful people you can imagine crawl out of this place, tuned to the hilt on whatever they drank that night, or smoked, is a weekly routine. Last night, a large fight broke out between a group of females in the gas station right across the street, the noise was enough to wake the dead in the graveyard a block away. About 25 police officers showed up to quiet and arrest the obnoxious women (if you want to call them that.) This is a typical night though, to say I've gotten used to it would be a lie, but I've certainly come to expect it. I would definitely recommend this bar on any night but Wednesday, very, very bad element on this paticular night. People who can't respect someone elses property what-so-ever, can't be all that much fun to party with, and it happens EVERY SINGLE Wednesday night and with summer coming on, it will only get worse. The police have gotten better about cruising the area, but it's still extremely bad and they don't do enough. The real blame lies with the bar itself. Zach

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