Beers For All Occasions

An Experiment in Social Drinking

Skull Alley

Where Barrett meets Broadway, there’s a special little spot- it exists as a venue- the selling of beer is just happenstance- but we believe in their cause, and so we’ll share that cause with you. Skull Alley is a tribute to a good fellow who didn’t quite get to see adulthood, but who loved music, and so his older brother created a sort of refuge for kids like him. That’s their schtick. It’s all ages. And I think that’s a wonderful thing, as loving to rock is not a trait that necessarily appears upon one’s 21st birthday.

Parking can be a bit of a hassle in that area, particularly for a packed show, but there are generally spots at the church across the street. It’s as safe as anywhere downtown and as there are generally smokers outside the front door, you’re within eye and earshot of friends from your car until you get inside. It must be noted that the venue encourages carpooling and biking because that’s the responsible way to be- and we think that’s awesome. Be sure you have your ID- as an all ages venue, Skull Alley has to card rigorously. It’s not really in a bar stretch, but not far from the Irish Triangle area of Baxter Ave.

Once inside, you’ll find that Skull Alley is pretty bare bones. The building is a the double barrel of shotgun architecture- the space you enter has the bar and the bathrooms, as well as the space where bands are generally peddling their merch. In the second room, to your right when you enter, is the stage and not much else. It’s just a hardwood floor and bare brick walls, but there’s a sort of beauty about the way you can see where there were once windows and fireplaces. The only seating comes in the form of a couple of barstools as the acts who play Skull Alley are generally the types you stand to hear. There’s no jukebox, no bar games, but the acoustics are good.

The bathroom is a fun thing. Like the Dark Star bathroom, it’s painted with that chalk board paint and decorating is encouraged. As there tend to be teenagers around, the doodles there look like a high school notebook- maybe I live in Peter Pan land, but it makes me smile to see loopy proclamations of love.

There’s a smoking area out back- door across from the bathrooms and down the stairs, though the front sidewalk area tends to serve the same purpose. Its a little tough on rainy nights as there’s basically no shelter.

More often than not, Jamie Prott, the owner, is tending bar. There’s no liquor, only beer, and the selection is mostly basic with a few surprise craft brews, but even for a beer snob, sometimes a PBR does the job- and they’re cheap here like they should be.

On a final note, Skull Alley has a whole other side in the form of a screen printing shop, so if your band needs shirts, this is a one stop shop to get those and book a show.

Skull Alley isn’t just a stop on the bar tour of Louisville- we go there a lot. It’s one of the few places people go these days because they sincerely give a shit about supporting music. That’s what’s cool about a place that lets the kids in- before you became accustomed to going out and getting hammered, you knew how to love a band and sing along with every word- I appreciate a place that reminds me of that sort of unabashed joy. These beers are for the kids and their un-jaded wanderlust.

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April 12, 2010 - Posted by | Downtown | , , , , , ,

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