Only two restaurants sit within the boundaries of Fairdale. Dairy Queen lies along Fairdale Road, while locally operated Shack in the Back BBQ sits across the street on Mount Holly Road. Shack in the Back BBQ prepares amazingly tender Kentucky barbecue. Many consider this establishment to have some of the best rack of smoked ribs in Louisville. The restaurant satisfies customers with tasty meats and phenomenal sides such as the baked beans and cole slaw.
Locals craving Mexican cuisine head north on National Turnpike to La Riviera Maya. This low-key restaurant serves great-tasting tortas, tacos and gorditas. The atmosphere remains casual and friendly, and service is second-to-none. Many claim that La Riviera Maya, not to be confused with Riviera Maya Restaurant, serves the most authentic Mexican food in all of Kentucky.
East Star Buffet lies along the Outer Loop and has a large Asian-inspired buffet complete with coconut chicken, roast pork chow mein and shrimp egg foo young. The best deal at East Star, the lunch special, is particularly affordable and includes a choice from over 25 platters, fried rice and soup.
Residents travel outside of Fairdale to visit bars or experience any sort of nightlife. Drive east 3 miles to the neighborhood of Okolona to grab a beer at Texas Roadhouse, Tumbleweed Tex Mex Grill & Margarita Bar, or Hooters. Nightclubs and music venues are generally closer to downtown Louisville. Zanzabar has something for everyone, including live music, a vintage arcade and plenty to drink.
The community of Fairdale, originally called Newtown until the city itself dissolved in the early 1800s, initially attracted salt mine workers. Though the city of Newtown failed to thrive, residents renamed the neighborhood Fairdale, and it was its own unincorporated entity in Jefferson County until a merger with Louisville in 2003.
No art galleries, theaters or museums lie within Fairdale's boundaries. However, residents needn't travel far to get a taste of Louisville's arts and cultural scenes. The Kentucky Derby Museum, in downtown Louisville, celebrates the greatest two minutes in sports through films and exhibits. Nearby, the Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Kentucky Center for Performing Arts offer regular entertainment. Louisville also hosts a number of annual festivals, including the Forecastle Festival, a live music event occurring in July, and the Kentucky Derby Festival at the end of April.
Fairdale is not particularly walkable or bikeable. Most residents drive, taking Fairview Road east to the Gene Snyder Parkway to get downtown. Interstate 65 can be accessed via this major corridor. Residents encourage visitors to park along residential streets, as no parking lots or garages can be found within the neighborhood.
The Transit Authority of River City does not operate bus service in Fairdale. To access public transportation, locals must head north 1.5 miles to the intersection of Glengarry Road and National Turnpike. Buses travel into downtown Louisville every hour from 6:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on weekdays.
Locals find it difficult to get taxi service in Fairdale, and Uber does not operate in the neighborhood.
The cost of living in Fairdale lies 10 percent below the city average of Louisville and 19 percent below the national average. Like most neighborhoods throughout Louisville's metropolitan area, the price of housing is the biggest factor in the lower cost of living. Renters make up slightly over 30 percent of Fairdale's population, and they benefit from these low housing costs. A one-bedroom apartment in the community costs renters $660 per month on average.
Other costs incurred by residents, such as transportation, utilities, goods and services, remain fairly constant throughout the city. The Transit Authority of River City charges $1.50 for one-way bus fare, and $50 for a monthly pass. Gas prices trend 13 percent below the national average. Expect a pint of beer at a bar near the neighborhood to set you back around $4.
Residents visit retail shops and service providers along Mount Holly Road, Outer Loop and National Turnpike. Most of these stores sell apparel, auto parts and groceries. For higher-end retail, locals drive to Jefferson Mall located east of Fairdale on Outer Loop. This mall includes stores such as Men's Wearhouse, Sephora and Aeropostale.
Along West Manslick Road, a popular shop called Lele's Boutique sells personalized gifts and monogrammed gear. Lele's specializes in gifts for any occasion, including baby showers, anniversaries and birthdays. Aside from the customizable apparel, this store sells beautiful jewelry and house-made bath soaps.
East of Fairdale, the South Louisville Antique and Toy Mall covers over 10,000 square feet and carries a large selection of priceless toys and other household antiques. Though the location and outside appearance may cause some skepticism, locals hunting for the perfect piece of nostalgia find this specialty shop indispensable.
Area residents living in or near the heart of Fairdale do their grocery shopping at the Pic-Pac Supermarket on Mount Holly Road, while those situated farther north head to either the Save-A-Lot on National Turnpike or the Walmart on Outer Loop. A number of small, ethnic markets lie within the neighborhood, including Cuba Libre and El Rey. Jeffersontown Farmers Market, the closest to the neighborhood, opens on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
Fairdale houses quite a few large parks operated by Louisville's MetroParks. The Jefferson Memorial Forest covers over 6,500 acres and has been designated as an Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary. Featuring miles of trails and streams, this forest is the perfect place for a relaxing picnic or a family camp-out.
Fairdale Mini Park lies at the heart of Fairdale on West Manslick Road and is a convenient place to take a brief walk or throw a birthday party. Fairdale's most popular park, the Nelson Hornbeck Park, features athletic fields and a public swimming pool. Most park facilities are free to use, but additional fees may apply when renting picnic shelters, attending an educational program or accessing the public pool.
MetroParks play host to a number of annual events throughout Louisville. South Jefferson County residents love attending Monday Night Movies at Iroquois Park during the months of June and July. Though most of the movies shown can be viewed by the entire family, a handful of nights have been designated adult-only.