The Troll Pub Under the Bridge Brings the Fantasy and Magic of the Halloween Season to a Unique Underground Dining Adventure!

An eight and a half foot Troll named “Louie” points the way to a subterranean, medieval-style pub in the heart of downtown Louisville right next to the KFC YUM Center.

Contrary to popular belief, spooks and spirits get hungry too. We like a good pub as much as the living do, and I’ve recently discovered a relatively new full service restaurant downtown that’s the buzz of the supernatural community. This is the Phantom of the Ville coming to you from beneath the earth at the Troll Pub Under the Bridge at 150 W Washington Street right next to the YUM Center. You can’t miss the 8 and ½ foot Troll, Louie, who stands outside, pointing the way down the stairs to his own pub.

If you were raised on 80’s fantasy films like “Labyrinth” (1986) and “The Dark Crystal” (1982), or even if you were introduced to fantasy through the books and films of the “Harry Potter” series, you’ll feel right at home in the Troll Pub Under the Bridge, which serves up lunch and dinner to both adults looking for a good pint and families looking for a fun night out.

There’s an aura of enchanted magic about the whole area. When I passed under the 2nd Street Bridge across the street, the first thing I saw was an elaborate bicycle rack in the shape of a bejeweled, two-headed dragon (SEE PHOTO ABOVE). Next you’ll encounter Louie, just like the Trolls of myth and legend that lived under bridges, standing beneath the bridge next to a gaslight lamp pointing to the pub entrance. Louie is quickly becoming a Louisville icon, and folks walking by often stop to take pictures with the enormous Troll.

When I climbed down the stairs to the pub entrance, I was greeted by great oak doors adorned with elaborate faces and a door knocker (SEE PHOTO) worthy of the magic castle in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” (1991). Inside you’ll find the rustic atmosphere continues with medieval black chandeliers, brick walls, wooden floors and arched passageways.

While the Troll Pub evokes days of Merlin, the actual location has an amazing story to tell of local history as well according to General Manager, Ben Barker.

“The building we’re standing in is 155 years old,” says Barker. “But the local history of this site goes back even further.” The Troll Pub was constructed on the site of the original Galt House, which was built in 1834, but was destroyed in a fire in 1865.

“After the Galt House burned down and relocated to where it is now,” continues Barker, “the L&N Railroad built its headquarters right here and stayed here until 1907. During this same time, many of the Kentucky bourbon distilleries started building their headquarters along this same block, which is how it became known as Whiskey Row.”

Whiskey Row flourished in one way or another even during the years of Prohibition. “It was the great flood of 1937 that really put a stop to the whiskey business on this block,” admits Barker. “This whole area was completely underwater.”

In the 1970’s, the underground floor of the building was filled in with dirt and the whole building became an artist’s colony.

The Troll Pub Under the Bridge opened for business in October of 2011, and has always had close ties to the Louisville Halloween season. “In fact,” says Barker, “our first day of business was on the day of the Caufield’s Halloween Parade, and our Troll was introduced to the city on a float in the parade!”

Louie the Troll was designed and built by a fairly famous design company, the Weber Group of Sellersburg, IN., who Barker informed me was the same company who designed and built the giant baseball bat at the Louisville Slugger Museum as well as the Churchill Downs entry logo icon. The Weber Group has also done design work for Six Flags, Kings Island and even our own, never forgotten Hawley-Cooke Booksellers.

Barker describes the Troll Pub’s menu as “American pub grub on the gourmet level.” Head chef, Bill Walters, is a Sullivan graduate with 20 years of experience at restaurants like Avalon and Wild Eggs. Everything on the menu is made from 95% scratch. Take a look at the menu at Lunch specials are available every day for around $10.

The Troll Pub Under the Bridge is open every day from 11AM2AM. Lunch is served from 11AM 3PM and dinner is served from 3PM11PM. “W.T.F.?” is the Troll Pub’s Happy Hour which takes place every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 5PM7PM. Check out their website at

September is upon us, and I know many of you are hungry for a taste of fall magic, and I can’t think of a better place to celebrate the changing color of leaves than with Louie at the Troll Pub Under the Bridge. If you do meet Louie, please feel free to post a picture with him to our Facebook page. I’ll be back soon with more exciting news as the haunt season proper is about to kick into gear!

The Phantom of The Ville

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