What E V V

I went to EVV.  I stayed in EVV.  I tasted the nightlife in EVV.

I liked it.

On relatively short notice, I had to go to the middle of rural Kentucky to take a deposition. I’m a fan of the Blue Grass State.  I’m also a Kentucky Colonel.  I earned this prestigious title while playing golf at Fort Knox.  This designation was confirmed by Gov. Paul Patton shortly thereafter.

This title and $10 will get you a mint julip at Churchill Downs

The honorific doesn’t confer any special Kentucky knowledge.  But, my many, many trips there (military and otherwise) have informed me to a certain extent.  Let’s just say that I know where in the commonwealth that alcohol may be legally purchased, and where it can be obtained otherwise.

My KY spidey senses told me fly to Louisville and drive.  I love LoooVille.  It’s a fun town.  This route would have been doable.  But, it would not have been the smartest way of going.

A helpful court clerk in Calhoun, Kentucky advised me to fly into Evansville, Indiana.

Evansville?  Hadn’t really heard of it before.

It’s a small city on the Ohio River, just a short drive across the bridge to Kentucky.  Alright.  I’ll try it.

I flew into Evansville (the airport is known as EVV — by extension the town has taken on this nickname) from Chicago.  I immediately loved the small town feel and the friendliness of the locals.

When first booking, I had made a reservation at the Hilton Garden Inn (or some such generic booking).  However, upon further investigation, I learned that EVV had lively downtown/riverfront zone featuring a riverboat casino and a $40 million entertainment area called “The District.”  I immediately changed my hotel rez to a swankier joint called Le Merigot and actually began looking forward to the trip.

Le Merigot was very nice.  The rooms were compatible with present-day “boutique hotel” accommodations.  I was very comfortable during my stay.  The complimentary breakfast with fresh fruit was a welcome surprise.

The hotel’s lounge was called Blush, and it should have packed on this Thursday night.  If Blush had been located in Scottsdale, Beverly Hills or Miami’s hotel row, it would have been hopping.  Unfortunately, I would have had a hard time getting up a rousing game of checkers on this particular evening.

The Mighty Ohio from my room at Le Merigot. The riverboat casino is to the right.

Luckily, better things were in store elsewhere in The District.  Healthy crowds had gathered in virtually all of the other nearby venues.  And all of them featured live music.

On this trip, my adversary for the deposition was a really good guy.  Over time, we have become friends.  I was fortunate that he accepted my invitation to dinner that night.   At the Riverfront Pavilion Grill, we found what we were looking for — good food.  We feasted  on platters of fried green tomatoes, fried alligator, ribs, brisket, pulled pork, barbeque chicken, red beans ‘n rice and mac ‘n cheese.   Yeah, we ate it all.

There was karaoke in the background.  I’m not usually partial to this.  But, the atmosphere was so pleasant I found that I was enjoying myself.

However, neither my companion nor I enjoyed the Casino Aztar.  The Love Boat this was not.  The surly, slot-addicted senior citizens gaming customers looked like they had been sentenced to long periods of on-board confinement.  Hoping to save ourselves from the early onset of cardiopulmonary disease, we hightailed it off the U.S.S. Nicotine.

A few more at Rí Rá, a contemporary Irish pub, and we were about ready to pack it in.  We ducked our heads into Storey’s Rockin’ County just to be polite.  It is entirely possible that the bartenders dancing in black bikinis, cowboy boots and black chaps may have caught our attention.  However, the crowd was too young even for my 29-year old colleague.

We called it a successful night.

The next day, we did what lawyers do.  We drove to rural McLean County across the river and went head-to-head.  But in a gentlemanly way.

I flew out of Evansville later that afternoon.

My time in the EVV was short.  But, it made me want to come back in a few years to see how The District progresses.  Did I mention that the entertainment zone is still basically under construction?  It hope it continues to grow successfully.

If you get a chance, visit The EVV.

— The Major


One response to this post.

  1. Been there. My first son was born across the river in Owensboro, KY. He was born 2-1/2 months prematurely and helicoptered to EVV. I drove to the hospital there and back every day for two months. (I knew it was time to leave KY when I started saying things like, “The corn is looking better this year than last year at this time”, after a drive home from Evansville.) I played in the Evansville Philharmonic for the few years we lived there, too. So that is a town I became rather familiar with. Next time you are out that way, I HIGHLY recommend the Moonlight BBQ in Owensboro, KY. Check out their website and drool. It’s worth the 45 min drive.


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