Air Devil’s Inn has been going through some “major” changes. A quintessential Louisville dive bar, Air Devil’s first opened in 1934 and has been serving up cold drinks and good music to a motley crew of folks in their location on Taylorsville Rd. ever since.
Recently, after 88 years, the men’s bathroom at Air Devil’s got a major upgrade: a new locking doorknob. Controversial move on the part of Air Devil’s Inn considering that having a locking door almost completely eliminates the chance of awkward bathroom encounters when an unsuspecting person walks in on someone taking care of business, so to speak. Now, in polite fashion, men have to wait their turn, as the locked door gives clear indication of bathroom occupancy.
LEO, never an outlet to ignore a compelling story or a controversy, had to ask Air Devil’s Inn about this new shift toward modernity. Apparently, the change has caused quite a stir, so we spoke with co-owner Kristie Shockley via email about how she and her husband have held up under the pressure.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
LEO: With this new technology, how have your customers reacted?
Shockley: The reaction has been mostly positive. Several of our regulars are really excited that they don’t have to hold their poop until they get home. They truly are happy. Bands are pleased that their fans will no longer be accidentally flashed while they watch the shows. The 88-1/2-year-old door squeaks, so you look and then you see someone standing at the urinal. We have heard that there are people who are happy to come in now because they like their privacy in the bathroom. One Facebook follower commented that it was very shiny. An Instagram follower seems happy about not having “stage fright.”Another was proud of our baby steps.
There is some negative: A few feel that we may now be too fancy. Another commented that he will miss living on the edge; I guess that he could just leave the door unlocked.
A female Facebook follower thinks that her stalking a man may be the reason for the new lock.
What other new updates are you considering — light switch plates, hitching posts?
After the positive reaction to the shiny knob, we are thinking of other updates. New light switch plates in the bathrooms is a great idea. We are also considering buying a new chalk cone for the pool players. They were pretty excited about the doorknob. We are also considering getting some of those fancy LED lights that change colors. This is a big expense, but we are saving for 3-ply toilet paper!!! We are excited to not be stuck in the past.
Some people don’t know this, but we have free Wi-Fi.
Any upcoming events that LEO should know about?
We are a bar with an identity crisis. We don’t fit in any “category.” Our future events show that. Every week, Monday is Bike Night, Tuesday and Thursday is karaoke, Wednesday is Ladies’ Night.
Here is a list of our variety:
Feb. 10 – Drag Show featuring Vic Leon, Miss Ellania, Sapphire Rose, Alastor Jolie, Selene St. Claire and Elijah Kingsly, DJ -Julian Adams
Feb. 11 – Punk Rock Show featuring the Response, The Basements and the GodAwfuls
Feb. 17 – Special Weekend Karaoke hosted by Heather (She is a GenZer!!!)
Feb. 18 – Blues Band The Subourbons
Feb. 24- Blues Band – Jay And Those Other Guys – They have played this particular weekend for 9 years, because it is Jay’s birthday
Feb. 25 – Cover All genre band – The Jukebox Band
Mar. 3 – Alternative/Indie Rock band – Save The Nine
Mar. 4 – Punk Bands – FMK, Jake’s Mistakes and Zombie Apocalypse
Mar. 10 – Punk Bands – Mellwood Avenue Shakedown and Bug Bot
Mar. 11 – Emo Night – DJ – Julian Adam
Mar. 18 – All Female Punk Band – Go Girl
Of course we will celebrate Super Bowl, Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day.
We will have a “grown up” Easter egg hunt on Apr. 8.
LEO: There you have it, folks. The shiny new knob is overall a big hit at Air Devil’s Inn.
Update: since this story was published, the owners have since added a contest involving the doorknob. See below for details.