New speakeasy keeps momentum going at Whiskey Row

New speakeasy keeps momentum going at Whiskey Row
Hell or High Water is a speakeasy-style bar hidden off Whiskey Row. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Low lighting and plush private spaces at the new Hell Or High Water speakeasy recreate the thrill of a naughty, boozy, prohibition-era past.

Opening March 27, the bar is the latest tenant in the restored Whiskey Row in downtown Louisville.

With close attention to period style decorating, and quirky features like sliding panels and hidden spaces, the speakeasy concept is the vision of Louisville siblings Stirling and Maud Welch.

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"It's not totally accurate," Stirling Welch laughed. "Technically, speakeasies were not legal."

The brother and sister team has been working on the bar for three years.

"Louisville's so steeped in the bourbon history," Maud Welch said. "And it has such perfect bones for a concept like this."

Whiskey Row is a catalyst for downtown investment, fueled by the crowds at the neighboring KFC YUM! Center and soon, from the newly renovated convention center. The opening of Hell Or High Water is viewed as a sign that momentum for downtown investment is growing.

The bar's deceptive entrance is on the Washington Street side, currently blocked by construction activity. When complete, Washington Street is expected to be a place for festivals and attractions tied to nearby parks and events.

Rebecca Matheny, Executive Director of the Louisville Downtown Partnership, said the hope is that a fully developed Whiskey Row will lead to a downtown "as vibrant and high quality and exciting as this block."

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