For Myron Thomas, the dream was always there.
"We had it in our head, a year or two back, to maybe bring a place where – it's Bourbon County – where you can have a nice bourbon and nightcap and go home, you know, from a good dinner somewhere," says Thomas.
Thomas and some business partners owned the property on Main Street in Paris that had seen two or three iterations of pizza places come up short in recent years.
So, he took the vacant space, filled it with his idea, and came up with Canonero's Cigar and Bourbon Bar.
"We just thought, 'this is the perfect time,'" says Thomas. "Just off COVID a little bit, so let's move in that direction. The cigars came a little bit after that."
After two months of renovations, the dream became a reality. A space that, well… if I could build the ultimate man cave...
"This is it!" Thomas says with a laugh.
"We didn't want to make it too manly, but with black leather all the way around like a man's den. But we just thought we could put some things in here to make it really nice and soften it up."
And that they've done. There's wood and leather everywhere, and when you step up to the bar, more than 70 types of bourbon await. There's a comfort level here that seems to create something else that you don't see very often.
"If you just pay attention when people are in here, they start putting their phones down, and they just start engaging in conversation with each other, and that doesn't happen a lot anymore," says part-owner Kimberly Ray.
As for the name, Canonero II was a Venezuelan-born thoroughbred who – despite a crooked foreleg – shocked the world by upsetting the field to win the 1971 Kentucky Derby and then went on to win at Preakness too.
A horse that beat the odds, and now, his namesake looks to thrive amidst a struggling economy.