The narrow building at 331 E. Market St, home of the Haymarket Whiskey Bar, was erected in 1885 and sat at the easternmost edge of Louisville’s whiskey row and across the street from the Haymarket.
The Haymarket referred to an outdoor farmer’s market established in the wake of the Civil War. Local farmers and merchants used the spot informally to sell goods directly to consumers. The market occupied the blocks between Market, Liberty, Floyd and Brook streets, on the site of the city’s rst rail station. In 1891 some of the farmers formed a stock company to purchase the space. Despite the name, the Haymarket did not actually sell hay in any meaningful quantities.
By the end of the 19th century, city regulations allowed hucksters of fruits, vegetables and other products to use three feet of sidewalk to sell their goods. Many of the purchasers were grocers who would arrive at daybreak to buy goods for resale in their neighborhood stores. Consumers who ventured into the Haymarket directly were called “curb buyers.” While buying directly at the Haymarket required much more haggling than in a grocery, better deals could be had.
Starting in the 1920s the building was occupied by the S. Goodman and Sons Company. For four generations, the Goodman family was Kentucky’s premiere dealer in ginseng, goldenrod and other medicinal plants (this explains the scale found in the entrance of our music hall). They also traded in furs, wool, cowhides – all products from the countryside that they brought into their downtown warehouse. Sometime shortly after the beginning of the new millennium, the Goodman family found East Market Street changing around them and vacated the 331 storefront.
After several years sitting vacant, 331 E. Market gained a new tenant when Derby City Espresso opened on April 1, 2007. Originally an artisanal coffeeshop, DCE later added a unique craft beer selection and began booking live local music. After a nearly five-year run, DCE closed to reinvent itself as Louisville’s only “punk rock bourbon bar” in January 2012.
In the four years its been open, Haymarket has risen to the top. Lauded as one of the best bourbon bars in the country, Haymarket boasts the biggest whiskey list in Louisville. As a proud member of the Urban Bourbon Trail, Haymarket champions the deep culture and history of bourbon country.
Haymarket Whiskey Bar has been featured in such media as Esquire, Thrillist, TIME, Garden & Gun, The Bourbon Review, Men’s Journal, Travel + Leisure, and many others. We’re happy to entertain you and hope you will like our hospitality.