A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beyond the Curb: Take a tour of a ‘spirited’ apartment in Bellevue for River City Living above B-Line tavern

By Jill Morenz
The Catalytic Fund

The owners of the house featured in this week’s episode named their tavern “Three Spirits” to reference their three-person family, as well as the three spirits (beer, wine and bourbon) that they feature on the menu. The name took on a whole other meaning when they began to hear and see the former residents of the house…who had been dead for decades.

The beautiful building has been converted into a tavern on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor. The apartment has been used as a short-term residence for the owners, as well as a guest suite for visiting family. It will soon be an Airbnb rental.

The apartment’s original features — fireplaces, wood floors, 10′ ceilings — are complemented by new-yet-classic elements in the kitchen and bathroom. The furniture and walls have been accessorized by the owner of another Bellevue business, Ampersand Home, making the rooms cozy and inviting.

The tavern itself is also an inviting space, created out of the original living and dining rooms of the house and offering outdoor seating in the lot next door. One of their signature drinks, the Funken Old Fashioned, is named after the home’s original owner, Nick Funken. Nick was a coal broker, so the concoction is poured over a black ice cube that resembles a lump of coal.

Three Spirits has also just been added to Northern Kentucky’s B-Line, an important part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, celebrating the places that bring the state’s signature beverage foremost on the tourism map.

The bedroom fireplace

In the episode, owner Charlie Zimmerman explains what it’s like to live and work with the spirits that still inhabit the property.

“They’re not evil,” he says.

He and his wife, Leslie Blair, are happy to be able to preserve the house and make it a vibrant part of the Bellevue Entertainment District.

Each Friday, a new episode of Beyond the Curb: River City Living is released. All the episodes can be found here.

The Catalytic Fund is the private sector, not-for-profit organization that provides financing assistance and related services for developers of quality residential and commercial real estate projects in Northern Kentucky’s urban cities of Ludlow, Covington, Newport, Bellevue and Dayton. Its mission is to accelerate Northern Kentucky’s urban renaissance through targeted investments in catalytic real estate development projects in urban neighborhoods.

The bedroom

The kitchen pass-through

The living room

And downstairs, the Three Spirits bar

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