Matthew Landan may appear to be just some hipster bar owner who knows a lot about bourbon, but if you engage him in conversation for even five minutes, you’ll find out there’s much more to him bubbling below the surface. Did you know he once lived in Australia? Or became a Deadhead after high school and followed the band around the country for five years? Did you know he likes traveling to Cuba and goes quite often? Or that he has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and once worked for the International Herald Tribune in Italy? The man is a living, breathing Wikipedia and will hold his own in a conversation on any topic from comic books to scuba diving.
Landan opened the Haymarket Whiskey Bar in 2012 after running Derby City Espresso, a coffee and craft beer café, for more than four years. The bar has an impressive stock of bourbons and whiskies and has been featured in national publications like Men’s Journal, Esquire, Travel + Leisure, Bourbon Review and Whiskey Advocate. Haymarket also serves as a reputable music venue, hosting bands from punk to metal.
We interrupted Landan’s pontification on Pluto becoming a real planet to ask him some important questions …
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
Open a bar-shack on an island? Become a scuba diving instructor? Open a craft rum distillery in Havana, Cuba?
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
Motley Crue, Twisted Sister, Ratt, Scorpions, Huey Lewis & The News.
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
Mushrooms, spinach and artichoke hearts.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
43 — I love living in the moment, and it doesn’t hurt that this is a uniquely fun and rewarding moment in my life.
A young Bringing It All Back Home Bob Dylan (when I have my afro).
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
I would love to be stuck in an elevator with either Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Bill Murray or Jim Jarmusch.