There’s certainly a lot of history sitting at the corner of Brownsboro Road and Mellwood Avenue. For years, Louisvillians have known it as The Rush Inn, stopping in for karaoke and chili on any given night. But now, after the sale of that watering hole last month, it’ll be known as Mellwood Tavern.
Partners and friends Briana Clemerson, Scott Crowder and Patrick Gregory decided to purchase the neighborhood bar that had been for sale since 2014. They’ve worked hard the last few weeks to clean up the somewhat neglected space, and although there is still much to do, they plan on opening the bar today, July 6, at 3 p.m. for a “soft” and very quiet opening.
There will be no food — yet. They’re still working on a 10-tap draft system. Their cocktail program is in the works. And they’re waiting on their official sign and logo. But they will have beer (craft and domestic) and liquor, says Crowder, who was busy wrangling a crew of delivery guys, bug sprayers, TV installers, painters, landscapers and more when Insider stopped by this morning.
He was happy to show off what they’ve done so far, including new bar room furniture, a complete overhaul of the restrooms, and a re-landscaped and renovated back patio. The main room was cluttered with tools, ladders, partially put-together tables and cans of paint, but Crowder assures us it’ll get there in the matter of a few hours.
Clemerson tells Insider the bar is most likely the longest continually operated tavern in Louisville, as it dates back to 1885 and even served as a speakeasy during Prohibition. It was originally known as The Rendezvous Inn, and later The Mellwood Inn, and then became The Rush Inn when the Rand family purchased it in 1985.
Clemerson and Crowder want the Mellwood Tavern to remain a comfortable neighborhood bar — it just needs some updating. For example, they will now take credit cards, and karaoke will probably not be a nightly occurrence anymore, as it was at The Rush Inn.
Crowder will assume most of the day-to-day operations since he has years of experience behind the bar at places like Dark Star Tavern and the Crescent Hill Craft House. Clemerson, who also has bar experience, will handle marketing and promotions, and Gregory will be a silent partner.
Mellwood Tavern will be open from 3 p.m.-4 a.m. daily but will be closed on Sundays until they get things up and running more smoothly. This weekend there will be food trucks on site to help celebrate their opening. It’s located at 1770 Mellwood Ave.