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Highlands Neighborhood Offers Fun Ways to Spend the Days for Knights

By Griffin Rogers

With the first weeks of classes behind them, students are now faced with the challenge of having to entertain themselves outside of classroom hours. Many current Bellarmine students have already scoured the Highlands and found fun ways to spend their spare time.

“One of my favorite places to go to on Bardstown Road, I think it’s called Fun (Boba) Tea,” Bellarmine senior Lauren Berck said. “Essentially, it’s just a whole store with, like, different kinds of bubble tea that you can customize. They also have smoothies and slushies there too.”

Bubble, or boba tea, is a Taiwanese drink that originated in the 1980s. It’s typically made with tea, milk, flavored syrup, and spheres of tapioca or jelly.

Berck said she makes regular visits to the store in between classes or over the weekend with friends. “You can go sit down. They always have animal documentaries playing,” Berck said. “It’s just a really nice place to chill, have some boba tea with your friends and hang out.”

Fun Boba Tea is located at 1608 Bardstown Road and is near other restaurant and shops, making it an ideal place to start an afternoon in the Highlands.

Prices vary, but most drinks can be purchased for under $5. For something sweeter, Bellarmine sophomore Nicholas Newsom recommends Graeter’s Ice Cream.

“It’s just a cozy little atmosphere where you can sit around and eat ice cream,” Newsom said.

Graeter’s Ice Cream is located at 2204 Bardstown Road, and a pint of ice cream costs $5.99.

“Most of everything on Bardstown depends on the time of day,” Newsom said. “Around nighttime you get a lot more people around, so it’s more lively but still not like an uncomfortable amount.”

Bardstown Road can be a hectic place to navigate. For those who lack a vehicle or time between classes, somewhere closer to campus may be preferred.

“So, another place I like to go is Sunergos, and it’s not even like a minute away from Bellarmine,” Berck said. “It’s a cute little coffee shop, and the building is honestly just such a vibe.”

Sunergos, located at 1647 Norris Place, is an independent coffee chain that started in Louisville in 2004. The fourth and latest Sunergos is close to Day’s Espresso & Café, where the owners first started selling their roasted coffee beans before buying their first store.

“It’s a great place to sit, do your homework, or grab a coffee with your friends,” Berck said. “I love it there, and I would highly recommend checking that one out, too.”

Norris Place is also home another Bellarmine favorite, Shenanigans.

“The best place to hang out around campus or Bardstown is probably Shenanigans,” said Bellarmine senior Matthew Titus.

Shenanigans is a neighborhood Irish pub, loved by both neighborhood residents and students alike. When the Covid-19 lockdown occurred, the pub was threatened with closure for the foreseeable future, but the community rallied together, and a GoFundMe page started by Bellarmine alumna Kaitlin Murray was able to collect more than $18,000 to help the pub re-open.

“I like going down there because it’s really friendly, and you don’t have to worry about getting a designated driver. You can just walk on back home to campus,” Titus said. “It’s very much like the Bellarmine bar.”

In fact, the owners can often be seen attending Bellarmine Knights games, and the menu even features a $12.99 burger named after Bellarmine.

“It’s just fun, and they usually have a guy who comes and plays guitar during the week,” Titus says. “It just feels like an extension of Bellarmine.”

Another local favorite close to campus is the Louisville Zoo. “I personally like going to the zoo,” Bellarmine senior Cameron Nava said. “It’s just fun because there’s plenty of things to do and see there.”

Founded in 1969, the now 134-acre has more than 1,700 exhibited animals. The zoo is also home to various endangered species and holds a number of titles, such as being the first zoo in the world to successfully hatch a white-throated ground dove in captivity.

“The zoo’s a decent size, I mean, it’s pretty big,” Nava said. “It’s a nice zoo.”

For Bellarmine students, the zoo is conveniently located at 1100 Trevilian Way, just a short drive from campus.

“I usually like bring a friend or like a different group of people every time I go there,” Nava said.

The zoo also offers a student discount on annual memberships at $25 for an individual and $45 for an additional guest pass. Normal ticket prices can fluctuate anywhere from $16 to $20, but tickets are usually cheaper when purchased at the gate.

For a more personal animal experience, Bellarmine junior Kel Proctor recommends visiting a cat café. “The biggest one that I like to go to is the Purrfect Day Cat Café,” Proctor said. “It’s like a great way to destress from finals or just homework or just to have fun and hang out with cats.”

Purrfect Day Cat café opened in 2015 as Louisville’s first cat café. It is located 1741 Bardstown Road and costs $15 per person, though visits need to be booked before visiting.

Proctor also recommended Lucky Cat Café. “It’s actually a nonprofit, and all of the cats from both of them are actually adoptable,” Proctor said. “I think they also have volunteer hours, so I’d like to volunteer there eventually.”

Lucky Cat Café is located at 2230 Dundee Road and entry prices change depending on the day, though college students with a valid ID receive 20% off.

From dive bars to cafés, the Bardstown Road area has a variety to offer students with time to kill. The easiest way to know where to go, though, is to grab some friends and just head out to explore.


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