Ace Eats Out – What Lexington Eats, August 2020

Ace Eats Out – What Lexington Eats, August 2020

Ace Eats Out for August 2020


Lexington’s food scene is ever-changing and at no point has that ever been more true than during a global pandemic. In recent months, new restaurants have opened to eager fanfare, at least one has been resurrected, while others closed with a bang, and a few with a whimper. Others are still cycling in and out of open/closed as they respond to positive tests within their staff, and as phased re-openings have rolled capacity forward and backward.



Burke’s Bakery Delicatessen in Danville will still deliver their salt rising bread and other products to Southland Drive in Lexington. (Good Foods Co-op will replace the closed Sav-A-Lot.)

Photo credit Dana Rogers Photography

Home to an arcade and live music venue, The Burl launched a food concept by the dynamic duo of Philip Cronin and Tonya Mays. The Burl Food presented by Kismet opened in June with a small but mighty menu of steam buns, fried chicken, and a sweet potato doughnut.

Crank & Boom Ice Cream relocated from The Barn at The Summit to a new location on Clays Mill Road inside the former Lyles BBQ restaurant

DV8 Kitchen is opening a second location at the intersection of Midland Avenue, Winchester Road, and Third Street.

Chef Wyatt Sarbacker opened Favor behind Arcadium on North Limestone.

Jefferson Street Coffee opened at 471 Jefferson Street.

Leestown Coffee House is opening at 1416 Leestown Road with both indoor seating and a drive-thru.

OV Bistro replaces Ranada’s Bistro & Bar in the location at 400 Vine Street. Ranada Riley opened Ranada’s Kitchen in Chevy Chase in the former location of the Kitchen at A.S. Eats.

Another Sedona Taphouse is opening on Newtown Pike near the Clarion Hotel.



The Barn at The Summit, Lexington’s first ever food hall, is permanently closed. Whiskey Bear still remains, but Athenian Grill, Atomic Ramen, Crank & Boom Ice Cream, Kentucky for Kentucky, and Smithtown Seafood will be focused on other locations and ventures.

Gather on Main, a coffee shop-meets-delicatessen-meets tap-house which opened in September 2019 on East Main Street, will not reopen.

George’s Grocery and Deli, anchoring the corner of Short and North Limestone for almost 50 years, closed its store and full-service deli. Javier and Aimee Lanza of Centro and The Garage had planned to open a rooftop bar in the location this past spring.

Locals’ Craft Food & Drink located on the corner of Walton and National Avenue in Warehouse Block has closed.

Nick Ryan’s on Jefferson closed during Covid19 restrictions, and will not re-open.

Sav-A-Lot on Southland Drive closed in July, taking with it a favorite deli destination for fried chicken in Lexington.



Alfalfa Restaurant closed in March, and soon announced a reopening under new ownership. Tiffany El-Amin and Wali Yusuf El-Amin are the new owners. 



Apiary launches OMAGE

Lexington’s new late night dining experience

Tucked inside the industrial landscape of the Jefferson Street corridor is a luxurious venue (with a Jon-Carloftis designed exterior) and a home for Lexington’s new ever-changing dining experience.

Apiary will introduce OMAGE, an ephemeral culinary experience in their enchanted secret garden.

Before the pandemic, it was nearly impossible to experience Apiary unless invited to a private event at the venue and even entry on that was tough. Given a normal year, Apiary would be booked with weddings or private events almost every weekend, especially in the summer. OMAGE was developed as a way for Apiary to curate events during a time when many events have been cancelled because of the pandemic.

“What we are creating is a unique dining experience in Lexington that leverages all the aspects we do well which is food, service, and ambience,” says Cooper Vaughan, Chef-Proprietor of Apiary.

 “The idea of OMAGE is that it’s ephemeral. It’s there and then it’s not. These are events that happen and then they go. So, if you want to be a part of it, jump on it because it is not something that is going to be there all the time.”

Beginning on August 7, Omage will be open on select Fridays and Saturdays starting at 8 pm. Reservations are taken until 10 pm and doors close at midnight. Unlike most restaurants, guests have their table the entire evening and can choose to stay until the doors close.

Lexington restaurant lovers familiar with Grant Achatz’s Next, in Chicago, which rotates concepts every four months, will recognize the appeal.

The Omage menu evolves from week to week, but thematically, it changes drastically every two weeks. In mezze style, small bites come to the table over the course of the evening. A full bar, curated wines, and a rotating menu of craft cocktails inspired by each menu will be available for purchase.

Reservations are prepaid and available for parties of two to six. Tickets are $65 per person and cover the cost of food for the evening. Chef’s Table is the VIP option for 10 people under a secluded garden pergola along with a specially selected tasting menu for $150 per person. 

Reservations can be made two weeks in advance and members of The Hive have preferential access to tickets four days before the public does.

The menu for August 7 through August 15 celebrates Yotam Ottolenghi, a famous writer and chef-owner in London.

OMAGE is located at 218 Jefferson Street.



This article also appears on page 17 of the August 2020 print edition of Ace Weekly.

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