NEWS BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse is opening up at the Mall. The Chicago-style pizza and beer chain will be in the corner of the Macy’s parking lot. Render’s BBQ is getting ready to make the leap from a local food truck to a full-on brick & mortar. They’ve signed a lease at the Beaumont Centre Circle and hope for the new restaurant to be open by early April. Joella’s Hot Chicken opened for business in January at the former Billy’s Bar-B-Q location. Joella’s serves chicken with six different spice levels, as well as craft beer. Lucky’s Market at 1030 South Broadway officially opened its doors in January with a bacon-cutting ceremony on January 27. The new grocery, in the former Winn-Dixie location, ends the food desert on west campus, and bills itself as “organic for the 99 percent.” EVENTS: Mardi Gras, Valentine’s and More Dee’s Nutz Beer Pairings at HopCat on Wednesday, Feb 3 at 7 pm. Dee’s Nutz are a Kentucky Proud Company and will be paired only with Kentucky Beers. Chef Ouita’s Winter Dinner Club 2016: Over February, Around the World in 80 Days at the Holly Hill Inn hosts special cuisine with the following themes: Feb 4-6: India, Lord Krishna’s Vegetarian Cuisine Feb 11-14: Global Aphrodisiacs Feb 18-20: Vietnam Feb 25-27: Ethiopia The Lexington Humane Society’s 9th annual Tails & Ales fundraiser is at the Griffin Gate Marriott at 7 pm on Friday, Feb 5. The beer-tasting also features snacks and live music. Dress is business casual and all guests must be at least 21. Personal pets are not permitted. Country Boy Brewing’s 4th Anniversary Celebration is from Feb 5-7. On Friday, Feb 5 at 5 pm, Country Boy hosts the annual Cellar Cleaning featuring rare Country Boy Releases, The Gastro Gnomes Food Truck, and 4th anniversary t-shirts. Saturday is the Celebration of the Commonwealth, featuring the release of bombers of Whiskey Barrel-Aged Wild Red Ale. Feb 7 is Sunday Funday, featuring the release of Sherry Barrel-Aged Imperial Red Ale with Blackberries and Mad Mike’s food truck. The 2016 Brunch Series kicks off with CHEW Brunch: Spiked Coffees with Chef Toa Green at Crank & Boom at 11 am on Feb 6. Chef Toa will serve a two-course meal including spiked coffee and hot chocolate with all the fixings. Coffee will be provided by Shuffle Bean. The meal will be made using locally sourced products and foods. On Monday, Feb 8, Pazzo’s hosts a Hopslam Release Party at 5 pm. Includes a pint of Hopslam, a Hopslam snifter and a slice of pizza. There will be a limit of 48 tickets. Fat Tuesday will be celebrated at Blue Stallion on Feb 9 at 5 pm. Crawfish boil starting at 5 pm with The Gastro Gnomes. The special test batch for the day is Hot Pepper Helles. Zyde-Gator will play live starting at 7 pm. Bluegrass Bayou Catering will host its annual Mardi Gras festivities on February 9 at its new location, Copper Roux, on Broadway. A crawfish shipment has been ordered from Louisiana. On February 9, Christ Church Cathedral will host a Shrove Tuesday pancake and Cajun supper to celebrate the last day before the beginning of Lent. Supper is 5:30-6:30pm in the Great Hall. $5/pancake • $8/Cajun • $25/family max. Excess proceeds go to The Cupboard. “We will bury our Alleluias, and burn palms in the Garden! Intergenerational activities begin at 6:15pm. Contact The Rev. Paula Ott at 254-4497 if you can assist with setup, cooking or cleanup. Valentine’s Bubbly (and paired nibbles) is at Wine+Market on Feb 10 at 6 pm. There will be discussion and tastings of the major styles of sparkling wine: Cava, Prosecco, Lambrusco, Crement, and, of course, Champagne. Each version of bubbly will be served with a specifically prepared nibble. Good Foods Coop hosts a Chocolate Sampling Event on Thursday, Feb 11 at 5 pm. Feb 11 - 13, there will be a celebration of foods of love in four-course and seven-course menus at the Holly Hill Inn. Then, in Honor of Valentine’s Day weekend, the Holly Hill Inn hosts its annual Aphrodisiacs seven-course dinner on Feb 14. They also a serve Sweetheart Brunch 11 am - 2 pm both Saturday and Sunday. Wallace Station, Windy Corner Market, and Smithtown Seafood will all have lunch and dinner specials over Valentine’s Day Weekend. Glenn’s Creek Catering at Woodford Reserve Distillery will serve a Valentine’s dinner Feb 12 - 13 as well. Additionally, Midway Bakery has Valentine’s sweets available all weekend. Buffalo Trace hosts Buffalo Love, a Valentine’s Day dinner featuring their award-winning bourbons on Feb 13. Optional tour at 6 pm. The dinner starts at 7 pm. For reservations call 502.696.5930. Waveland is kicking off 2016 Tea Tuesday with a special Valentine’s High Tea and Low Tea on Tuesday, Feb 16. Low tea will be served at 1 pm and high tea at 6:30 pm. All teas served by period dressed interpreters and include savory food. Call to schedule at 859.272.3611. Fresh Food Adventure: Bourbon Dinner at the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill on March 12 at 6:30 pm. A sampling of Kentucky’s famous Four Roses Bourbon paired with a four-course bourbon-inspired meal by the fire. To submit a Lexington, Kentucky food, wine, or spirits news item for consideration in Ace’s Best Bites, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To submit a Lexington Food, Wine, or Spirits Event to be considered for the Ace calendar, please go to the Ace online calendar, and click “Submit” (upper right on the Menu bar). For restaurant advertising, call Ace Advertising at 859.225.4889 x229. This article also appears on page 12 of the February 2016 printed issue of Ace. Subscribe to the Ace e-dition for Lexington news, arts, culture, and entertainment, delivered to your inbox every Thursday morning.