Louisville’s Galt House-by the Bridge

It’s called the Galt House, and the walls are brimming with nostalgia. The legendary British author Charles Dickens stayed here and spoke highly about the lodging and hospitality.

“We slept at the Galt House. A splendid hotel and we were as handsomely lodged as though we had been in Paris.”

Then there was the storied murder of a Union Army General. The infamous William “Bull” Nelson was gunned down here by fellow General Jefferson C Davis here resulting in controversy and public outcry.

The Galt House remained a world-renowned Inn until a deadly fire in 1865. To this day, people report sightings of a mother and her young daughter – folklore that is embedded into the storied walls.

Today, sports stars and other local personalities are honored in these walls. Many have left Kentucky and their careers have blossomed somewhere else, but Louisville is where they got started and where they will always be remembered.

Today the Galt House lives in impetuity as Bearno’s By-the Bridge. George Timmering has owned the Bearno’s by the KFC Yum! Arena for 23 years. Bearno’s is named after a volcano in Sicily and there are now l4 locations in Kentucky and Indiana.


“Our thin crust is what makes us unique but it is not too thin as it is able to handle our ample toppings,” said George.
“I love hamburger and ham on my pizza as well as BBQ chicken. I love vegetables but not on my pizza.”

Pete is the gregarious bartender who has a gift for gab. He’s a true born and bred Kentuckian and a UofL alumnus, and he can rattle off names of local sports heroes like they were his family. Pete gave me a wall picture and jersey tour and I could immediately pick out some of my favorite stars such as Lamar Jackson, 2020 NFL MVP and Teddy Bridgewater who also had a decent year.

I didn’t know that the Cardinals athletic program was so successful. UofL is all about their sports – I know, I spent the night there by the field hockey stadium. The campus was empty due to spring break and COVID-19.

I was mesmerized – could easily spend hours here viewing and appreciating the accomplishments of these local heroes. I had plenty of time. It was St Paddy’s Day weekend, a normally busy time for Louisville bars. but due to the coronavirus pandemic , besides George and Pete, I was the only one at the bar.