Brunch & Beats is growing up.
My first ever Brunch & Beats experience was almost this time last year, the Sunday after Derby. I entered Butchertown Social, admittedly a bit skeptical about a daytime dance party after having put my body through the wringer the few days prior. My dubiousness was quickly put to rest, though, as I scanned the room with glee. I’ve gushed to LEO readers about my adoration for Brunch & Beats before: the diverse groups of Louisvillians twerking in a sweaty collection of fashion-forward ensembles and lost inhibitions, the musical stylings of DJ Hi-Definition and the Popsicle mimosas that quickly became the iconic symbol of B&B. It’s all magic. Now, however, 20 months after the experimental, initial event, Brunch & Beats has grown out of its original and beloved location, Butchertown Social, and moved into more space to accommodate the crowd. I chatted with Brandon Frazier, aka DJ Hi-Definition, about what to expect at the new home at Old 502 Winery one Sunday each month. Let it be known, you have plans May 5: It’s the day after the Kentucky Derby, it is Cinco de Mayo and, more important, the day of Brunch & Beats.
Frazier is a civil engineer by day, beats provider by night — and, well, Sundays. Brunch & Beats is the brainchild of the folks who make up District Content, an event curation company working to create unique and inclusive experiences that will grow their own individual brands. They include Hi-Def’s music, Jordan Bibb’s photography, Kogan Dumb’s videography/graphics and the business endeavors of Tyler Hundley and Mark Clayton.
The first Brunch & Beats was in September 2017 recalled Frazier. “We didn’t know what we were doing. We just used it as an opportunity to connect with people.”
That event brought roughly 100 folks through the door at Butchertown Social. It hosted 400 in March 2019, the last Brunch & Beats to take place there before outgrowing the location. A bittersweet decision was made by the group to move B&B to a larger facility. The new venue can accommodate more than double the occupancy. Frazier explained that it was a tough call, as Social has been such a special place to call home, yet with the growth, at times it became a one person in, one person out situation.
“That’s not a vibe,” he said. “We want to be welcoming and open to all.”
Frazier said he and his comrades want to keep B&B free and create something truly special for their community. “Being black, I have my own barriers, and as a DJ, I want to break that with my music. Folks can have different opinions and leave it all at the door. For four or five hours, we’re all connected through music.”
It’s true that many Louisvillians now plan their social calendars around Brunch & Beats, a unique event that Frazier said started simply as a daytime champagne party. “I’m not sure how to take compliments, so I’m still learning how to have people come up to me and tell me how much they love brunch,” he said, “it’s my music, so the fact that it means something to them — that’s dope.”
Old 502 Winery is ready and equipped to host B&B, with a two-story location complete with a full bar and brunch menu downstairs and enormous dance floor and a satellite bar selling only champagne and orange juice on the second floor. Frazier explained that the setup will be more conducive to folks who want to eat brunch first and then meander upstairs for twerking. Or, if you’re like me, you may just bypass the first floor and head directly for the champagne bar and dancing. At this point in Derby week, my body typically is just running on booze.
While the notable B&B cocktail at Social was the Popsicle mimosa, Old 502 is a winery, so wine slushies will be on deck for consumption.
Mimosa slushies will be a vibe, and since the day after the Kentucky Derby happens to fall on Cinco de Mayo, margarita slushies.
While Frazier couldn’t give me exact details about another special happening Sunday, he said, “We’ll be putting tequila at the forefront.”
So, keep your livers in check for Sunday. Leave it all at the door. We’ve got twerking to do.