LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Since 1922, Wagner's Pharmacy has been the go-to spot for Derby Day. Located directly across the street from the twin spires, it’s hard to miss it.

What You Need To Know

  • Local restaurants are prepping for Derby Day crowds 

  • Wagner's Pharmacy and Captain's Quarters will offer outdoor dining for Derby week to accomodate the influx of patrons

  • Races are set to being at 10:30 a.m. on Oaks and Derby Day

For many tourists visiting the city for the first time, general manager Lee Wagner said the restaurant is a “must” especially in Derby season.

“It's a place where if people are going to the Derby or if they're going to the racetrack, they put it on the list so it’s here, the Derby Museum and Churchill Downs, we call it the trifecta,” Wagner said.

Due to COVID-19, no one was able to get the chance to experience the most exciting two minutes in sports or enjoy a hot brown at Wagners.

“It was sad last year, I mean there was no doubt. It was the first time in history that we weren't open on Derby Day,” Wagner said.

But with just one week to go until the Run for the Roses, local restaurants are filling up fast.

“We don't have reservations. With that being said, we are getting closed to booked but we have the space and capacity to handle many many people,” said Dan Rees, general manager at Captain’s Quarters.

As COVID restrictions continue to limit capacity at Churchill Downs and indoor dining, restaurants had to come up with other options to tend to crowds. Wagner’s has just opened outdoor seating options for their customers. An option Wagner is fully behind, with the crowds the restaurant has seen in the past.

Tourists waiting hours to sit at the same table featured in the well-known “Secretariat” film.

“We added an outdoor seating area to help with the virus and with that to make some people feel more comfortable so they have that option of eating outside open. That way we can get a few more people in because we're still at the 60% capacity on the inside,” Wagner said.

Captain’s Quarters will also have outdoor and indoor seating options. An alternative Rees said works to their advantage.

“With the amount of space that we have, we can offer comfort areas where we can dine and spread out with the amount of property so we do everything we can to provide a comfortable, safe atmosphere,” Rees said.

Wagner's will be open Monday through Sunday.

  • Sunday 4/25 - Thursday 4/29: 7 a.m. -2:30 p.m.
  • Friday 4/30 (Oaks): 6 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Saturday 5/1 (Derby): 6 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Sunday 5/2: 7 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Captain's Quarters will be open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Friday - Saturday 11 a.m. -11 p.m.