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Since the early 1980s, Waterloo Records in Austin Texas has established itself as one of the coolest independent record stores in the state. So when two sons of the store's founder opened Waterloo in downtown Louisville in 2007, they brought with some of the store's hipness, some of its memorabilia and borrowed the logo as well. A neighborhood restaurant, bar and live music venue, the spot brings in live local music three days a week and also has a weekly acoustic open mic night. The menu includes Texas style barbecue, burgers, sandwiches and appetizers.
The Waterloo has established itself as a landmark in Downtown Louisville. This joint captures a small town atmosphere with its dull grey paneling, blue trimming, and large glass windows tucked in the middle of Main Street. On a nice night the glass windows open up revealing the entire front house to fresh air. As I walked in the front door the tight quarters brings the entire community of customers together. The brick walls and small bar bring out the history and age of the building that restores the old in old town Louisville. The interior is beautiful with a stage in the back right corner that doubles as extra seating. The [clean] bathrooms are located in the back left hallway next to the kitchen. This hallway leads to a covered back patio rowed with picnic tables. Signs and advertisements hang on the fenced in area creating a nice calming place to enjoy a night or day out. The bar area is in the front left of the building situated in an L-shape. This area includes high top bar tables on the right wall and on the front wall by the windows.
There menu offers a variety of food including an assortment of signature burgers, salads, soups, fish tacos and even Texas Style BBQ. They have four beers on tap at any one time and a selection of bottled brews as well. I order the plain burger with two thick cut pieces of bacon and melted cheddar cheese that seems to dress the sides of my beef patty. On the side comes thick cut French fries that are deep fried to perfection. I also order there famous gorgonzola cream sauce for dipping my fries. The food is served promptly and cooked the way I ordered.
The service was fast and friendly. As I walk in the front door there is a hostess standing attentive and there is no confusion on where I need to be. She asks how I am and where I would like to sit. I tell her that I'm going to be dining at the bar tonight and she points me to a few open seats. The bar tenders and wait staff are dressed in uniform, a black shirt with the waterloo logo on the front and on the back a picture of Johnny Cash. They have clean shirts free of stains and stink. Their hair is cut and they all look professional in the way they dress and the way they carry themselves. At the bar, the tender made my experience comfortable and personal giving me her name and paying attention to everyone she had sitting around her. She made sure that I had what I needed to enjoy my meal. When I reached the bottom of my glass she made sure to ask if I would like another.
The waterloo is a small town place to gather and enjoy a great meal and great people. There is only one flat screen in the place; socializing with family and friends is the main activity throughout the tables. The music is loud at times, but seems acceptable because the place was inspired by a record store and has music memorabilia on the walls. The Waterloo is one of Louisville's finest dining experiences.
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