Belle's Cocktail House is Member of the Week!
Written by Intern, Chaney Curd
"A special thanks to Belle's Cocktail House for hosting the DLC Membership Meet & Greet last week! It was a huge success and we are grateful for the opportunity to use such a unique and beautiful space!" - Rob Bright, DLC Membership Coordinator
Since opening in November 2013, Belle's Cocktail House has strived to be different from any other bar in Lexington. Seth and Justin Thompson, and Bobby Kenney Edison, had been publishing The Bourbon Review together since 2008 when they had the idea for Belle's. They were in their early 30's, and the vibrancy of downtown showed them the potential for what a nice bar may be able to accomplish for young professionals. Once the idea took off and they found the perfect space, they approached Larry Redmon, musician and owner of the Bluegrass Tavern, to help their idea come to life. Seth Thompson, co-owner of Belle's, said it "has been a really great partnership in terms of what they all bring to the table."
They all wanted their new bar to have a local tie to historic Lexington, so that is how they decided on the name: Belle's Cocktail House. Belle's is named after Lexington legend, Belle Brezing. Belle was the owner of a high end brothel in Lexington from the late 1800s to early 1900s. She was a self-made female, and a great business woman. When she died in 1940, Time Magazine wrote a story about her for running the "most orderly of disorderly houses."
Once they decided on the name, they also used Belle as an inspiration for the environment inside of the bar. The idea behind the first floor décor was to put a modern day twist on what Belle's club would have looked like back in her day. She ran a fine establishment, and catered to a wealthy clientele, and they wanted to capture that ambiance with the chandeliers and beautiful mirrors they have inside. Thompson described the second floor as somewhat of a hunting lounge look, and as "old school Americana." They wanted to create a stark contrast between the second and first levels. This past November, they opened their rooftop area and second floor expansion, and it has been a huge success. It's one of the only rooftop areas downtown that isn't surrounded by other buildings, and it offers an amazing view of downtown and the Lexington skyline. The view will only get better when the old courthouse renovations are completed.
Their goal was to create a welcoming place downtown for people of all ages. Publishing The Bourbon Review taught them a lot about American whiskey cocktail culture, and they wanted to bring a fragment of that to Lexington. Belle's is all about adding to and enhancing the downtown culture. Thompson said that he is so appreciative of his great, creative staff and bartenders that establish good relationships with customers and are true hospitality professionals. Whether you come in for a craft cocktail, or just want a bourbon and coke, Belle's wants to make sure it's the best bourbon and coke you've ever had. When it comes to serving customers, Thompson said, "have whatever makes you happy, we just want you to enjoy yourself."
To learn more about Belle's Cocktail House click on the links below.