Friday, April 22, 2022

The Seelbach

My St. Louis friend Kyle is getting married and someone decided to have his bachelor party in exotic Louisville, Kentucky. I pulled some hero friend moves and actually committed to attend. What a class act. The flights were brutal. I took a redeye planning to sleep on the plane but I was unable to, plus the time zone difference combined to be a tortuous situation.

Louisville airport is actually kind of cool. They do a lot of work showcasing local cool things.

I did pull an adult move and dodge the large group Airbnb in favor of booking myself a hotel. I actually got here a day early and worked out of the Seelbach Hilton Louisville. It was very conveniently located near the Fourth Street Live! entertainment area. Pretty much the same thing as Ballpark Village.

The hotel was a beauty. It opened in 1905 and has a lot of fun history.

F. Scott Fitzgerald frequented the hotel in April 1918, while training for his deployment in World War I. One night after expensive bourbon and cigars however, he had to be restrained and was ejected from the hotel. This experience seemingly did not tarnish his memories however, as he later included a fictional hotel akin to the Seelbach as the setting for the wedding of Tom and Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. In this story it is referenced that Tom "Rented out an entire floor of the Mulbach hotel" which could either refer to the Grand Ballroom (once located on the roof of the hotel) or the Rathskeller room (located in the basement) where Fitzgerald often went to the bar.

I had a sip in the bar.

The Seelbach is such a baller hotel that it has its own cocktail, the Seelbach.

ounce bourbon, preferably Old Forester
ounce triple sec
dashes Angostura bitters
dashes Peychaud’s bitters
ounces domestic sparkling wine, preferably Korbel Brut, chilled
Orange twist, for garnish

After work instead of immediately going to hang out with my friends it's possible I... took a tour of the hotel.

Our tour guide Larry Johnson has worked at the hotel since 1982. Here's a picture of him with KISS.

He even wrote a book about the place.

A bunch of US presidents have stayed here, as well as some famous gangsters including Al Capone. One of the rooms had a secret door in the wall that people would use to evade the police.

Upon seeing the barracks packed with unwashed mouthbreathers I was happy with my decision to instead stay where Al Pacino and Russell Crowe filmed scenes from the Insider. Sorry plebeians.

We hit some bars.

I was having trouble remembering a lot of the new guys' names so I just called this man Snoopy the rest of the trip.

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