Experience Kentucky’s vibrant nightlife with a visit to some of the best bars in the city of Frankfort. There’s much more to this state than fried chicken and horse racing — you’ll see the capital really come to life in the evenings. This blog post is here to help you pick out the best and most enjoyable Frankfort bars where you can create unforgettable memories with friends and family.
And as if the remarkable skills of mixologists weren’t enough, these drinking destinations offer plenty more to keep you entertained. They’re packed with popular bar games, theme nights, delicious food and even sports betting opportunities, ensuring that there’s something for everyone.
Which Are the Best Bars in Frankfort, KY?
Today, anyone can open a bar, but the best places aren’t hard to distinguish. The most sophisticated enterprises present a well-curated blend of elements, offering you the best possible drinking experience. But what exactly does the perfect bar require?
First of all, you must consider the ambiance. Thoughtful decor with a perfect balance of cozy and vibrant usually offers the right kind of appeal. Although, this does depend to a large extent on the overall vibe the bar is going for. The choice of music also plays an important role in setting the tone.
An enticing menu is a must, especially when it comes to the drinks on offer. A good bar should offer an extensive selection of beverages, ranging from beers and spirits to wines, cocktails and soft drinks. If it serves a uniquely prepared signature drink, that’s definitely a plus.
Finally, exceptional service is non-negotiable. Friendly and knowledgeable staff can have a decisive impact on your experience. Simple gestures like engaging in genuine conversations or even recommending new offerings can often be enough to make or break your evening.
The following bars in Frankfort stand out in all of these areas, attracting both locals and tourists for an experience to remember. If you ever visit the city of Frankfort, these destinations should be on your bucket list.
1. Bourbon on Main
This downtown Kentucky bar prides itself on its bourbon staple, scenic location and excellent service. Situated in Historic Downtown Frankfort, customers at the bar can enjoy a view of the Kentucky River and the State Capitol building. Its menu is packed with local cuisine and an extensive range of exquisite bourbon offerings. These quality drinks, sourced from the world’s finest distilleries, are a dream for aficionados.
If you’re not a fan of whiskey, Bourbon on Main still has you covered. Margaritas, wines and its signature creamy buffalo dessert cocktail are just some of the other enjoyable treats on the menu.
2. The Cooperage Bar
The Cooperage Bar calls itself Downtown Frankfort’s “special events bar.” Its most notable offering is the vintage decor-inspired homey space (also available for private rentals.) Random visits are also permitted on specific days of the week for customers who simply want to unwind.
This bar’s menu includes liquors, wines, beers, mocktails and sodas. They’re sold in packages with different prices for customers hosting events or groups of friends visiting together. Patrons may also enjoy complimentary tastings before their scheduled events.
Games you can play while visiting The Cooperage Bar include pool, shuffleboard and darts. Betting on sports is also on the table for customers who enjoy online gambling.
3. The Stave
The Stave Restaurant and Bourbon Bar welcomes you to enjoy the joyous flavors of the South. It’s located on the bank of Glenn’s Creek, with the Woodford Reserve Distillery, Glenn’s Creek and the Castle & Key Distillery all nearby. Opened in 2018, this bar serves a wide range of meals too, including classic American meals and a couple of signature dishes.
The drinks menu features a well-curated selection of whiskeys and bourbons, cocktails, wines, cider and beers. Live music from local stars is another central attraction for regulars at The Stave, infusing the air with pleasant melodies to complement the tasty food. This is just one of the ways through which the bar fosters a sense of community among its customers.
4. Applebee’s Grill and Bar
The Applebee’s restaurant chain is iconic in the US, with franchises in multiple locations across the country. The company has deep roots in Kentucky, with 27 venues in the Bluegrass State alone. Residents looking for places to eat in Frankfort, KY, can rely on Applebee’s for its casual and family-friendly atmosphere.
The American-inspired menu features appetizers such as mozzarella sticks, while main courses include pasta and burgers. For lovers of the bar section, several beers, wines and cocktails are available to enhance your dining experience. And like at other Applebee’s restaurants, you can catch up on your favorite sporting events on the television screens.
5. Hannah’s Sports Bar and Grill
Hannah’s promises one of the best bar experiences in Kentucky. This restaurant is nestled in the picturesque city of Lawrenceburg, where it offers gastronomic experiences consisting mainly of US cuisine. However, customers laud its varied menu, supplemented by five-star customer service and homely ambiance.
There are also plenty of games to enjoy, including pool and bowling, making it the ideal spot for a night out with friends. Going alone? No problem. Chat with the friendly bar staff or catch up on your favorite games on the restaurant’s big screens.
6. Mortimer Bibb’s Public House
Frankfort meets Ireland at Mortimer Bibb’s Public House, a captivating establishment that seamlessly blends both cultures. Here, community is at the heart and soul of both the service and meals on offer. The vibe at Mortimer Bibb’s is one of comfort and warmth, especially with the ambient light fixtures across its rooms.
Appetizers at the restaurant include pretzels and various spreads served with crackers. Its Irish salad is a notable highlight, served with Guinness brown bread and balsamic vinaigrette. Other meals worth trying include the soups and quiches of the day. There are also combo plates and desserts, plus the bar’s signature bourbon chocolate chip scone.
Drinks are abundant on the Mortimer Bibb’s Public House menu, ranging from world-class beers to Irish whiskeys and the famous Kentucky bourbon. Whatever you crave, the restaurant’s vast menu has something for you. Immerse yourself in the flavors and bask in the mood-enhancing atmosphere.
Raise a Glass to the Flavors of Frankfort
Looking through this list of must-visit bars in Frankfort, KY, one thing is clear. Whichever you choose, you’ll be leaving fully satisfied. Whether it be the beautiful sights of these historic locations or their unrivaled mixology prowess, the experiences from each trip will leave you longing for more. Tour this beautiful city at the heart of the Bluegrass State and embrace the unique experience each venue has to offer.
Sadly, a night at the casino is not an option in Frankfort due to the strict local gambling laws. However, should you wish to catch a game at any of these bars, online sports betting became legal in 2023, so be sure to register at BetMGM and join the fun.