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One of Louisville's original neighborhoods, Portland.
Located near the Ohio River on the western edge of downtown, Portland’s history is deeply tied to the river. Early on, it was an independent river city that served as a port for the boats transporting goods and people around the Falls of the Ohio. Portland’s bustling commercial activity attracted many new residents including Irish immigrants. Today, Portland is again attracting new businesses and residents.
For your first stop, drop by Hot Coffee for a cup of joe and a pastry. The walk-up window and bakery Please & Thank You serves up espresso drinks, oatmeal and other breakfast favorites. For lunch, try The Table Café. Everyone has a place at the table where you pay what you can afford. Run by volunteers, the non-profit restaurant serves lunch Monday through Friday.
Portland’s tradition of independence is exemplified in three beverage makers that call the neighborhood home – Kentucky Peerless Distilling, Falls City Brewery and Old 502 Winery. All are within minutes of the western edge of Whiskey and Museum Row. Kentucky Peerless Distilling is again producing Bourbon after 100 years. Take a tour to see each step in the Bourbon making process. In addition to Bourbon and rye, it’s also bottling Lucky Kentucky Moonshine.
Just blocks away, Falls City Brewery and Old 502 Winery share a building, taproom and gift shop. From 1905 to 1948, the brewery produced Falls City Beer, Louisville’s first craft beer. Today it’s brewing the 7-Barrel Series onsite. At Old 502 Winery, Kentucky’s only urban winery, they use Kentucky grown grapes to make wines that reflect its spirit. For dinner, visit Over the 9, the sister restaurant of the brewery and winery.
The Portland Museum is a magnet for history buffs. Housed in a 1852 Italianate mansion, the museum tells 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.
Tim Faulkner Gallery is home to a 5,000-squarefoot contemporary art gallery, artists studios, 2,500- seat performance space and McQuixote Books & Café. Readers will delight in the book selection at McQuixote Books & Café, including classics, hard-to-find titles and first editions. In the café, you’ll have a choice of drinks, pastries and sandwiches off of the rotating menu. After hours, you’ll find a full bar, and the performance space hosts community events, concerts and more. McQuixote is home to the monthly Portland Poetry Series, author readings and acoustic music shows.