Three years ago this month, Never Say Die opened on a popular stretch of Shelbyville Road. From the outside, you might think the art bar was a tattoo shop nestled in Saint Matthew Station based on its logo. And while the bartenders undoubtedly have no shortage of ink, their artistry lies in a shaker tin rather than a tattoo machine.
After years of working in fine dining and upscale bars, owners Michael Railey and Matthew Brown decided to open a bar that pushed boundaries, through playful ingredients and unlikely garnishes. Take for instance this tropical rum drink garnished with a toy soldier.
“We aim to bring people into a realm that wouldn’t necessarily be in their comfort zone,”
said Railey. “And show them something authentic and real.”
Railey and Brown took the pretentiousness out of high-end drinking and added
a little — wait, who are we kidding — a lot of spray paint. Across the two-level space, creativity flows from the local artworks on the walls to the house-fabricated furnishings, like the painted tables held up by steel drums and hubcaps. Pinball machines ding under the glow of neon lights and the bar features a grim reaper overlooking the liquor shelf.
And If you’ve never (say die) been, the bar is hosting a Nightmare Before Christmas Holiday Popup Market on Saturday, Dec. 16, in partnership with secondhand clothing retailer Hard Time Collective to celebrate its anniversary.
From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. you can:
- Snap a professional photo with Krampus
- Sip holiday-themed cocktails
- Jam to a live DJ
- Shop from 50+ local vintage vendors and artists