Fourth Street Live!

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Coordinates: 38°15′7″N 85°45′26″W / 38.25194°N 85.75722°W / 38.25194; -85.75722 Fourth Street Live! is a 350,000-square-foot (33,000 m2)[1] entertainment and retail complex located on 4th Street, between Liberty and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, in Downtown Louisville, Kentucky. It is owned and was developed by the Cordish Company; it was designed by Louisville architects, Bravura Corporation. Fourth Street Live! first opened to the public on June 1, 2004, and all stores were finally completed for the grand opening on October 30, 2004. City planners hoped that the district would attract further commercial business development while providing an attractive entertainment venue for the city's hotel and tourist business as well as the local population.

The large Hard Rock Cafe sign greets visitors to Fourth Street Live!

Restaurants and entertainment venues in the complex include Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Hard Rock Cafe, T.G.I. Friday's, Sully's Irish Pub, The Sports & Social Club (bowling alley and restaurant),tavern on 4th street, The Fudgery, and the first-ever Maker's Mark Bourbon House & Lounge.

Fourth Street Live! also has a wide variety of bars and nightclubs including The Marquee Bar, Mosaic, Sully's Saloon, The Sports & Social Club, Howl at the Moon, PBR Louisville and Tengo Sed Cantina.

A mall-style food court is also located in the complex with restaurants like Wendy's, Taco Bell, Subway and Philly Station. There are also several retail stores including CVS Pharmacy, Footlocker and T-Mobile.

Traffic on 4th Street through the complex is often open, but closed for large public gatherings such as music concerts and other events.



Fourth Street Live! opened in Downtown in 2004

Fourth Street Live! began as a downtown revitalization project to redesign and modernize the former Louisville Galleria, a similar but unsuccessful project opened in the early 1980s with the same goals of revitalizing downtown. The Galleria, in turn, had been built on the site of the River City Mall, which opened in 1973, also with similar goals of revitalizing downtown. Fourth Street itself had long been the main shopping and entertainment destination in Downtown Louisville.[2]

The idea of turning Fourth Street into a pedestrian mall actually dates back to 1943, when mayor Wilson W. Wyatt suggested the idea. Proposals were drafted over the years but funding for the $1.5 million River City Mall project was not secured until 1971.[3] The Mall originally stretched all the way from Liberty to Broadway, and was initially successful, but over the years vehicular traffic was slowly reintroduced and the mall scaled back.

Tenant changes[edit]

Many people crowd into the center during the frequent free concerts given by local and national performers.

On February 16, 2007, the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau opened its new Visitor Information Center at the North entrance to Fourth Street Live. The new center totals nearly 3,000 square feet (280 m2), and includes two permanent exhibits, where visitors can learn about the stories of two of Kentucky's most famous icons: Kentucky Bourbon and Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. The center will also supply information to outside passersby via a high-tech video wall that will run video on different cultural events and attractions.

On October 23, 2008, Yum! Brands announced that it would open a KFC/Taco Bell combo restaurant in the food court.


On July 2, 2007, the Cordish Company announced that it will expand the mall southward by leasing the first floor of the Starks Building.[4]

In 2009, the Cordish Co. announced it was dropping plans for the expansion of the Fourth Street Live entertainment district.

As of 2013, plans are back in the works to expand westward on what is often referred to as The Louisville Water Company block. Current plans call for a 600 room convention hotel, and a high rise apartment complex. Additionally there are plans for a much needed full line grocery store for an area quickly becoming home to apartments, and condo's, as well as several high end hotels.

The Baltimore-based developer abandoned plans to develop 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) of vacant space in the first floor of the Starks Building, at the corner of Fourth Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard. The site was quickly developed in the high end Eddie Merlot's steak house.


Some events held at Fourth Street Live! in the past have included national acts in concert, such as Kid Rock, 3 Doors Down, O.A.R., Sister Hazel, VHS or Beta, Goo Goo Dolls, Tracy Lawrence, Jason Michael Carroll, Jake Owen, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Clay Walker, Three Dog Night, Phil Vassar, Buddy Jewell, Emerson Drive, Finger Eleven, The Marshall Tucker Band, Little Texas, Blue October, Shiny Toy Guns, Gavin Degraw, Violent Femmes, Gretchen Wilson, Justin Bieber The Big Band Theory-USA and many others.

The University of Louisville's annual "Run for the L of It" 5K begins and ends at Fourth Street Live. Also, the finish line of the Louisville Ironman Triathlon, which debuted in 2007, is located at Fourth Street Live. The Venue also holds annual events celebrating the Kentucky Derby and was the "Cup Village" when Louisville hosted the 2008 Ryder Cup and often holds pep rallies and celebrations for the University of Louisville's athletic teams including for the teams that made the 2005 Final Four, 2007 Orange Bowl, and the 2007 College World Series. During the Summer, Fourth Street Live hosts Miller Lite's Hot Country Nights, which is a series of free concerts featuring top national acts. A Mardi Gras parade, Halloween trick-or-treating, and a New Year's Eve celebration are other annual events which are popular at the venue.

The venue will also be part of the four block expansion of 'Light Up Louisville' and will feature an ice skating rink. [5]

Fourth Street Live! was also intended to host the rider presentation for the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, but the presentation was canceled when the races had to be rescheduled to escape predicted flooding of the championship course.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Life after five: 4th Street Live!". Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  2. ^ Shafer, Sheldon (2003-07-17). "It's Fourth Street". The Courier-Journal. 
  3. ^ Kramer, Carl (1978). Louisville Survey: Central Report. pp. 264–265. 
  4. ^ Davis, Alex (2007-07-02). "Major expansion of 4th Street Live planned; Owner leases part of Starks Building". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Holcombe, Brian (February 1, 2013). "Rising river forces schedule change at cyclocross worlds". VeloNews. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 

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