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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Bourbon

Bourbon on Main

We were headed to the Old Taylor Tour at Buffalo Trace. With time to spare, we decided to check out a pub-style restaurant - Bourbon on Main - that had been recommended by more than one friend. If I said this was the perfect way to pre-game the tour, I'd be understating our experience.

Nestled in Downtown Frankfort

Located less than 5 minutes from the Buffalo Trace Distillery and just two blocks from the Kentucky State Capitol and the Kentucky State History Museum, Bourbon on Main is steeped in local history. Less than 20 minutes away, are several more distilleries, including Castle & Key, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, and Wild Turkey.

For much of its life, the two-story brick building at 103 W Main Street in Frankfort, Kentucky served as a private residence. Later, it became a pub named St. George and the Dragon, then Dragon Pub, The Dragon, and in 2015, partners Joseph Fiala, Taylor Marshall, and Kelly May joined forces to launch Bourbon on Main.

Inside, you'll find classic pub fare, including burgers with handcut fries, chicken, fish, and salads as well as a great lineup of appetizers. During the busy season, I'd highly recommend reservations; we stopped in at lunch the day before Thanksgiving. I had expected a crowd, but apparently everyone else was shopping for turkey and prepping for Black Friday!

All the Bourbon

As we walked in, I caught a glimpse of the 100+ different bottles of bourbon that filled the wall behind the extensive bar. There is ample seating for 200, including a two-story outdoor deck that overlooks the Kentucky River. We surveyed the rest of the first floor and headed upstairs to our table and menus.

As I viewed the extensive bourbon list, our waitress shared that a special bourbon flight was available today from Boondocks, highlighting a rye whiskey, 8-year bourbon finished in port barrels, and a cask strength rendition - all for $12. Ok. You had me at bourbon and a five-page bourbon list. But a special flight? $12? A brand that I hadn’t tried? For the blog? Hook set.

Mrs. Joseph Bourbon and I enjoyed the flight as we waited for our meal. That gave us a chance to observe the antique photos adorning the walls of such bourbon legends as Elmer T. Lee, Colonel E.H. Taylor, and a young Albert Blanton. As we sipped and enjoyed all three pours, the Mrs. was scrolling through her phone to learn more about this delicious lineup of bourbon (why hadn't I seen this before?) resulting in a stop, later, at a store to snatch an 8-year bottle.

Since it was the holiday season, we weighed our choices carefully. The Mrs. enjoyed the burger and fries (which I gladly helped with) while I sunk into a delicious bowl of greens (Derby Salad with greens, cranberries, maple-bourbon glazed nuts, mandarin oranges) along with what appeared to be an entire grilled chicken.

With time winding down, and our tour at Buffalo Trace calling, we made our exit ... but not before grabbing some desert for later - Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with bourbon caramel sauce (this did rival my own recipe!). Once again, the service was excellent, as it came with reheating directions and was sealed up for us to enjoy back at our Airbnb.

If you're on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, you're surely passing or stopping in Frankfort, Kentucky. Be sure to include at least one visit to Bourbon on Main! For more ideas when you’re visiting “the Trail”, check out our tips here.

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