by Sarah Baird
After almost two decades, Blue Dog Bakery and Café is still finding ways to deepen its roots.
The letter “B” really hits a winning trifecta in the state of Kentucky. There’s the banjo-picking, warbling twang of bluegrass music, made world famous by the likes of Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson and the countless number of pickers he influenced. There’s betting on horseracing, from the paddock at Keeneland in Lexington to the Run for the Roses each year at Louisville’s Churchill Downs. There’s bourbon, of course, which practically flows through the veins of any self-respecting born-and-bred Kentuckian
And if the legions of fans who flock to Blue Dog Bakery and Café in Louisville have anything to say about it, there should also be another “B” word added to that list: baking.
If you’re doubtful that Kentucky deserves a prime seat at the national baking table—and that Blue Dog is helping blaze the trail—simply stroll into the bakery on a Saturday morning, and you’ll see breakfast dishes dappled with fresh herbs and greens anchoring tabletops, while the sprawling counter acts as a horizon line for a mountain range of pastries. As customers ooh, ahh, and snatch up their go-to treats, a comfortable din of buzzy brunch-time chatter ensures that you’re quickly taken into the bakery’s warm, convivial fold.
Blue Dog is the place that everyone wants in their neighborhood, but few communities are lucky enough to land.