April brings with it Spring, Keeneland, Easter, and a welcome return to dining al fresco. After a long, stormy winter, spring menus and patios will be the talk of the town.
Andy’s Frozen Custard has opened its second Lexington location, this one on Richmond Road.
Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint has opened in downtown Lexington on N. Limestone, in the spot most recently occupied by Oscar Diggs, nestled into a block anchored by current locals, Corto y Lima, Minglewood, and Sidebar.
Maple Street Biscuits has opened in Lexington, entering the bluegrass’s Battle of the Biscuits fray. The chain, acquired by Cracker Barrel in 2019, is located in the Zandale area on Nicholasville Road and serves up fast-casual breakfast fare. It joins Tudor’s Biscuit World (which arrived in 2019) and Biscuit Belly (2021) in the campaign for Lexington’s delicate, flaky soul. Biscuit Belly has announced plans for two new locations, one for Leestown and one for the Harrodsburg Road corridor.
Burger Fi has exited the Lexington market; both Lexington locations (in Fayette Place and in Hamburg) are now closed, and a red notice was posted on the door of the Hamburg location in March, citing KRS 135.050.
Lady Remoulade has announced that they will not re-open after their winter closure.
Lexington Diner on Lane Allen closed its doors on March 19, announcing, “We would like to thank our guests who have supported us over the years. We have enjoyed being a part of the Lexington community, downtown, and in Gardenside neighborhood….We have shared many good times, food and drinks over the years. Thank you for spending so many of your special moments with us…” In 2018, the Diner relocated from downtown into the former location of Brasabana on Lane Allen Road, and transitioned to a joint venture between owner Karin West and the Azur Restaurant Group (who had also owned Brasabana). Rumors are circulating that a popular Hamburg area restaurant may open a second location in the Diner’s former space.
Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate sustained major windstorm damages in March. The Gingko Tree Cafe sustained roof damage. Visit henryclay.org to make a donation to their recovery efforts.
Longtime Charlie Brown’s owner, Dave Fuller, has sold the reins of the institution to new owners Chris Brothers, Chris Behler, and Sean Feld. Fuller had been at the helm since the early 80s.
County Club has reopened for the season.
Merrick Inn is reopening for the season on April 5 after a winter remodel.
Sam’s Hot Dog Stand in East Lexington is adding a breakfast menu.
Chef Sam Fore plans to open a brick and mortar concept, Tuk Tuk Snack Shop, in the Malabu neighborhood later this year.
7Brew Coffee is expected to build in the location formerly occupied by the recently demolished O’Charley’s on Richmond Road.
Oregon-based Dutch Bros Coffee has hit two zoning snags in building out its forthcoming Lexington footprint. Proposals for both the Blue Arby’s location near UK campus and a South Broadway spot were rejected by the Planning Commission, citing the “vehicle focused” plans and congestion issues.
EAT & DRINK CALENDAR
SUN APR 16
TAI on Rye, the pop-up Jewish deli, returns after a three-year absence, and will be open Sunday, April 16, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Temple Adath Israel, 124 North Ashland Ave, for dine-in or carryout.
This article appears on pages 16-17 of the April 2023 issue of Ace. To subscribe, click here. To join the Ace Eats out Facebook group, click here.