Thursday, January 8, 2009

Laissez Bon Temps Roulez in Louisville

On a more upbeat note, Lessons from Louisville on how to market Party Town.

Comments at Esrati responding to grumpy Gene (if you read Esrati you know who he is) and at DMM about issues with Dayton nightlife, why the Oregon is Boregon and people prefer The Greene just have to be expounded upon by yer humble host.

My standard for a place with a fairly decent nightlife and restaurant scene is Louisville. Of course Chicago and San Francisco would be better, but Louisville is closer to the Dayton size range.

About a generation ago Louisville was a lot like Dayton, with the popular drinking and dining spots being in suburbia, particularly "The Village" (AKA Dupont Circle) and Hurstbourne Lane and other suburban places. During that era an in-town area, Bardstown Road, was sort of starting up as a destination.

Fast forward to today. Now the hot spots are all in town. A recent special issue of Velocity, Louisvilles version of Impact Weekly, provided a special issue on pub crawls and this pull out bar-guide:

...200 places listed, with capsule reviews. This is something Cox Enterprises could do with Impact Weekley, as a promotion, and as a way to showcase Dayton as something more than "boring". The DDN blogs already do this a bit, but take those great little blog posts from the Leadbelly Boys and Lounge Lizards and put them into a special pull out section.

Velocity repackaged highlights from their bar list as a set of pub crawls. Of these only one is out in suburbia (a sort of southern bar/urban cowboy scene out on Dixie Highway)

The others are all in-town, like this great little map/featurette on the developing hipster/old school neighborhood bar scene in Germantown:

(period bar signs: defunct Falls City and Evansville's Sterling, the PBR of the Ohio Valley)
..this was just one of five scenes being covered.

What Velocity is doing is what the old Courier-Journal/Louisville Times had always done, build on word-of-mouth and push scenes as they were developing, acting as a sort of validation and cheerleader for the citys developing urban nightworlds.

So even if you are not a drinker nor go out much, there's always the feel things are happening, because it's being covered.


Anonymous said...

Dayton City Paper staff could learn some lessons about creating an impactful weekly by reading a few issues of Velocity. It seems they've made some format changes in recent weeks and hopefully they'll continue with the recent change in ownership.

Jefferey said...

Velocity...or LEO (which is also improving layout and format). The funny thing is that Velocity is the "corporate" weekly (Gannett), but LEO looking pretty good too.

Dayton City Paper could be a lot better. The funny thing is that it doesnt provide full coverage of the local nightlife. There's never any adds or stuff on Canal Street Tavern in it.

The Urbanophile said...

By the way, I hope you realize that comparing Louisville to Dayton is considered a deadly insult in some Louisville quarters. It's considered disrespectin' the city to compare it Dayton instead of larger places. At least that's been my experience.

As I've said before, Louisville is by far Kentucky's largest urban center. Dayton is far down the list in Ohio and has a significantly bigger city just a bit south on I-75. This has to account for at least some of the different dynamic between them.

Jefferey said...

I wasn't thinking about metropolitan area size, but how to market an urban scene and how local media can help fluff things and move them along.

Anonymous said...

I believed to "The Urbanophile" Its true comparing is also an insulting