HISTORY

 

Latonia Race Track

 

           1883   was   a   bustling   time   for Latonia.  That  year  one  of   the   world’s most famous  racetracks  was  built  here.  It  was  one of  three world famous tracks In  Kentucky  -  the  other  ones  being  in Lexington   and   Louisville.     The   track was     located     where      the     Latonia Shopping  Centre  and  Value  City   now stand.

           One of the greatest attractions at the Latonia Race Track was the 1 1/2 mile Latonia Derby.  Winners of this event included such famous horses as Broadway Jones, Gallant Knight and Upset.   Other famous horses include Epinard, Clyde Van Dusen, Zev, Black Gold and Equipoise.

            However, the Latonia Race Track was short lived.  After sustaining substantial debts in the 1930’s the track closed on July 29, 1939 after its last race.  The track was open for only 56 years.

 

Ritte’s Corner

 

           During   this   time  though,  Latonia began to boom.   Stores  and  business  of all   sorts   sprang   up   around   the   race track.   Nearby  Ritte’s  Corner,  became  a busy     five      street      intersection.     By 1890   Weber/Ritte     Building     at    3634 Decoursey served   as   Weber’s    grocery and  saloon.  Then,  from 1899  to  1927  it served   as   Ritte’s   saloon.    Today,   the buildings at  this  intersection  comprise the Ritte’s Corner Historic District.

 

Flake’s Hardware

 

           Between the Latonia Race Track and Ritte’s Corner was Flake’s Hardware.  It was well suited between   two   such   busy   locations. Flake’s Hardware was built in the early 1900’s and served the Latonia area as well as its largest customer - the race track.

 

Lucille’s

 

           Then, in October of 1994 the hardware store was transformed into Lucille’s Blues Club, owned by Patti and Greg Mebs.  Several changes were made such as the addition a mahogany bar and pressed tin roof - both from 1883.  The club soon earned the reputation as a favorite place to hear regional as well as national blues acts.

           Lucille’s was a close knit family.  Greg Mebs, the owner, regularly sang and played the guitar, as well as booked all of the bands and worked the sound systems.  His wife Patti, worked as the bartender and their daughter served tables.

 

Mahogany’s Coffee House & Bar

 

           While some things have changed, others have not.  Mahogany’s is still family owned and operated.   The  pressed  tin ceiling  is still there as well as the mahogany bar  - hence our name.  While the race  track  is gone,  as  well as other old  sites,  you  can  still  taste  Latonia’s historic past  here.    So,   gather   around  and  discover our  great  food,  coffees   and  our   full   service bar menu!

Latonia Race

3715 Winston Avenue, Latonia, KY 41015 · (859) 261-1029

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