Ace Eats Out – What Lexington Eats, January 2021

Ace Eats Out – What Lexington Eats, January 2021

Ace Eats Out – What Lexington Eats, January 2021


As we kick off a fresh new year, what’s new for Lexington’s food scene? Restaurants reopened for in-person dining mid-December, but cold weather mixed with limited capacity restrictions is proving to be just as challenging in 2021 as it was in 2020. But if Kentucky’s trends toward mild winters continues, support for the struggling scene may include something as simple as: bring a sweater, and grab a seat on the deck or patio — along with ongoing carryout and delivery. (It’s much easier and less expensive for you to wear a jacket than it is for restaurant owners to foot the bill for extremely pricey tents and propane for outdoor heaters.)

There’s already a lot brewing for 2021 with at least three local breweries making major announcements from expansions to production plans. Cheers to a new year as we applaud signs of new life, rejuvenation, and innovation.


Manchester Coffee Co. is expanding to Lexington’s East End and opening a second location at The MET. The forthcoming location will be bigger and house the coffee shop’s roaster since retail wholesale is a major part of their operations.

Louisville-based Goodwood opened at Lexington Green in the former spot of Mellow Mushroom.


Saul Good Restaurant & Pub in downtown Lexington announced that it would be closing after eight years on the corner of North Broadway and West Short Street. The restaurant closed in March of 2019, presumably temporarily, but ultimately announced that it would permanently shut the doors in December.



Lexington’s Pastry Trail is shaping up along Midland Avenue onto Winchester Road and throughout the Warehouse District. Long-time staple Spalding’s was joined by La Petite Délicat in the Warehouse Block in 2017 followed by Epping’s on the corner of Walton a couple years later. On the other end of the trail, a relocated Martine’s and Frank Donuts claimed spots on Third Street in 2019. A second DV8 Kitchen found a home on the trail in 2020, only months before Manchester Coffee announced plans to debut a new location next door, offering in-house roasted coffee to complement the popular pastry corridor come spring of 2021.

What Lexington Needs: more vegan options?

January 2021 kicks off with Lexington Vegan Week. Local favorites will offer special vegan menu items along with a few DIY demos. The Social Vegan, which is launching in March at Greyline Station, is among several of the participating restaurants and organizations.

What Lexington Needs: hand crafted artisanal hot dogs?

Boonedogs opens on Old Richmond Road in 2021, filling the niche we never knew we always wanted. The restaurant is a collaborative concept between co-owners Tim Jones and Hilary Boone; designed by Rebecca Burnworth of Burnworth Design and Eric Burnworth of Burnworth Builds; a menu developed by Wyatt Sarbacker; and an iconic interior neon sign created by Richard Garr.


Ace Drinks Out in 2021

Bluegrass Distillers, a craft distillery in Lexington, announced their expansion to Midway. The new location will find a home on Elkwood Farm, which is listed on the National Historic Register and built in 1835. An expanded distillery, barrel ware-houses, tasting room, visitor center, and event space are in the works. The distillery is owned by Sam Rock, Nathan Brown, and Ben Franzini of Lexington.Bluegrass Distillers opened on West 6th Street in 2013, starting from scratch and mashing each ounce of grain by hand. The Distillery is community-focused and gives back through their Philanthropy Barrel Program. In 2020, the company raised and donated over $45,000 to local nonprofits through the Philanthropy Barrel Program.

Brewer Dude received approval from federal, state and local agencies in December to begin beer production in their Lexington facility. Brewer Dude is growing its roots in Lexington after a 3-year period in which it became one of the top 10 online homebrew supply stores in the nation.Founder Nathan Hoskins comments, “Many of our customers are out of state and will never know the benefit of walking into our store, drinking great beer, and if the customer loves it they can buy a kit to make the exact beer at home.” The Brewer Dude store plans to have beer ready for purchase in the new year on Seventh Street in Lexington.

Kentucky’s first black-owned distillery, Fresh Bourbon Kentucky, is set to break ground on a bourbon distillery near Lexington’s Distillery District in early 2021.

Wm. Tarr Distillery found a home in Pepper Rickhouse of the Distillery District in 2020. The resurrected distillery began renovations and curbside pickup at its new location, but the rest of the operations including a still room, gift shop, and bar are coming soon.


Ace Eats Out is curated by Kristina Rosen. 
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This article also appears on page 17 of the January 2021 print edition of ace magazine.

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