Portland: Louisville's Historic Riverfront Neighborhood : GoToLouisville.com Official Travel Source

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One of Louisville's original neighborhoods

Located near the banks of the Ohio River on the western edge of downtown, Portland’s history is deeply tied to the river. Early in its history, the neighborhood was an independent river city that served as a port for the boats transporting goods and people around the Falls of the Ohio. As a result, Portland’s bustling commercial activity attracted many new residents.

Today, this growing neighborhood is once again attracting new businesses and residents.


An excellent way to start the day in this historic neighborhood is with a Cup of Joy. Coffee, baked goods, biscuits and gravy, and lunch are available at this local non-profit ministry. In fact, Portland offers other community-minded culinary adventures as well. Everyone has a place and diners pay what they can afford at The Table Café. Run by volunteers, the restaurant serves lunch Monday through Friday. All proceeds from Porkland BBQ go back into the community. The restaurant is part of the non-profit organization Love City Inc., which aims to uplift its neighbors.

Farm to Fork is a breakfast and lunch café serving a rotating, seasonal menu with ingredients sourced from a network of regional farmers. For a traditional butcher shop with custom hand cut and carefully prepared meats, as well as traditional deli sandwiches, visit family-owned Galan’s Meat Market & Deli.


Portland’s tradition of fierce independence is exemplified in three beverage makers that call the neighborhood home – Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co., Old 502 Winery and Shippingport Brewery. All are within minutes of the western edge of Whiskey Row. The 4th and 5th generation of the Kraver/Taylor family are making fine Bourbon and rye at Peerless. Old 502 Winery is Kentucky’s only true urban winery. Using Kentucky-grown grapes, the winery makes wines reflecting its spirit with names such as Kentucky Lady and Shar-Duh-Nay. Tours are available by appointment. The new Shippingport Brewing Co. takes its name from Shippingport Island, which centuries ago stood as a stopping point for cargo boats on the Ohio River near the Falls of the Ohio. The 4,000-square-foot brewing space produces the10 craft beers served at the 2,000-square-foot Sally Forth Taproom at 1221 W. Main St., right across the street from the Heine Brothers’ Coffee headquarters. Owner Amelia Pillow has created a warm and homey space for the neighborhood and visitors that flock to the weekly trivia nights with a brew and a hot pressed sandwich.

The Portland Museum is a magnet for history buffs. Housed in an 1852 Italianate mansion, the museum uses models, life-sized characters, photographs and film to tell the story of the former river town. During your tour, you’ll learn about the Falls of the Ohio, Portland Wharf and how the canal was built, and also learn some fascinating facts from a bygone era.

For a little outdoor adventure, Lannan Park offers baseball, tennis and basketball and features scenic river views of the Portland Canal. The Portland Wharf Park is home to a walking path and trails. Watch riverboats “lock” through the Falls of the Ohio from a viewing station at the McAlpine Locks and Dam.

You can enjoy an arts and cultural experience at Louisville Visual Arts and The Dolfinger studios. Since 1920, Caufield’s Novelty Shop has been the heartbeat of Halloween in Louisville. The shop sells unique party decorations and costumes for all occasions throughout the year. Muhammad Ali was a frequent customer, and Lance Burton and Mac King both worked there when they were aspiring magicians.

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