Food news – what opened, what closed in Lexington

Food news – what opened, what closed in Lexington

The Lexington food scene has had its ups and downs over 2018, with more exciting eateries set to open in the new year.

Want to know what restaurants opened or closed in the Lexington, KY area? Here is a comprehensive sampling of eateries that opened or closed in 2018 and a few that will be coming soon in 2019.



Athenian Grill plans to open a downtown location on the ground floor of the Park Plaza Apartments on Main Street.


BD’s Mongolian Grill opened in the Malibu Jack’s indoor theme park, which relocated to Nicholasville Road this past summer.


Eight Horse Bakery opened in December offering gluten-free options including custom baked goods, artisan breads, biscuits, pies, and special occasion cakes.


First Watch is opening a fourth location off Nicholasville Road, in front of Target, at the end of January 2019. One Holland Corp., who also owns the Lexington Skyline and LaRosa’s, has stated First Watch on the corner of Richmond Road and Man O’War will move across the street to join Skyline and LaRosa’s.


The historic James E. Pepper Distillery celebrated its one year anniversary in December. The distillery had been inactive for nearly 60 years, but it was resurrected and reopened a year ago. James. E. Pepper Distillery is most known for their 1776 brand of whisky that is available domestically and internationally.


Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse will open as part of the City Center development on Vine Street this fall.


LaRosa’s Pizzeria on Richmond Road will open in early 2019, and an additional takeout version will open on Southland Drive, where the Hunan Chinese restaurant was (no date set). Owners One Holland Corp. opened the Richmond Road Skyline Chili next door and delayed construction on the LaRosa’s in order to increase the capacity.


Mirror Twin Brewery opened a second taproom in the building next door, where Cosmic Charlie’s used to be. The taproom will mainly be used to host events and parties.


Chef Ranada Riley opened Ranada’s Bistro and Bar on Old Vine Street in the former Walker’s restaurant, which opened earlier this year and closed in November.


Zim’s Cafe, Ouita Michel’s newest restaurant, opened on the ground floor of the renovated old historic courthouse in downtown Lexington, featuring her best from Wallace Station Deli and Windy Corner Market. Along with the cafe is Thirsty Fox, a full-service bourbon bar with 65 bourbons and local craft beer taps.



Lexington Diner closed its downtown location and reopened on Lane Allen Road in the former location of Brasabana. The new location is double the size of the downtown location and seats 107 people, and serves alcohol.


In October, Lexington Beerworks posted on facebook, “Lexington Beerworks is permanently closed. Thank you for your support over the last 6 years!” The space at 213 N. Limestone is now available for lease.


The Soup Kitchen on Southland Drive posted a Closed notice on the door.


Willie’s Locally Known Southland Drive has permanently closed. Willie’s had become a destination for high profile shows on the music side, and signature wings and burnt ends on the culinary side.



January 7

Oscar Diggs Pappy’s Dinner, featuring all of the 2018 releases of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon is Monday, January 7 at 7 pm and is a ticketed event.


January 12

Talon Winery’s Chili Challenge is Saturday, January 12 from noon until 3 pm. Registration is required.


January 14

“Big Blind Bourbon Taste-Off” at The Barn at Summit at Fritz Farm  runs from Monday, January 14 until Saturday, January 19. There is an entrance fee and prizes.


January 19

HopCat celebrates its 11th Anniversary on January 19, with a Crack Fries Eating Contest at 3 pm.


January 22

Maddie’s Cookie Co. is teaching a cookie decorating class on January 22 at 6 pm at Seventh + Lime.


This article also appears on page 10 of the January 2019 print edition of Ace.

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