BY KRISTINA ROSEN
Betsy and Matt Borland had one goal when they moved from Miami to Lexington: open a restaurant. Four years later and they’re making that dream a reality with the opening of East End Tap and Table, a new international gastropub in downtown Lexington.
Betsy lived in Bangkok for seven years and traveled all over southeast Asia during that time. She moved to Miami, Florida for college where she met her husband, Matt, who was in the restaurant business and had his hand in opening several restaurants. With some convincing from their in-laws, UK Coach Matthew Mitchell and his wife, Jenna Mitchell, the Borland family moved to Lexington to open a restaurant of their own.
For the past four years, they’ve been looking for an ideal space to open their concept. In August 2018, the project finally began as they added a kitchen and completely changed the layout of the former Dunkin’ Donuts.
The gastropub has a funky, urban city feel to it thanks to a good amount of natural lighting from the large interior windows, a concrete bar decorated with local artwork, and a garage style window near the front.
The menu can’t be tied to one cuisine. It’s an interesting combination of flavors and foods—think heavy Asian flavors and foods typically known best in Miami–which is what makes their menu different and fun. Although it’s a globally inspired menu, Borland says all the of the recipes are their own.
The Kofta Burger is a Mediterranean spiced lamb meatball made into a burger while the Thai Bahn Mi Siam-wich features chicken or tofu satay on a French Vietnamese baguette. The “Pastrami” Beet Reuben is their vegetarian take on the classic Reuben sandwich (which they also offer) and their Fried Chicken Sandwich will have you thinking Chick-Fil-A and Popeye’s, who? There’s also a full liquor bar, 12 beers on tap, and craft cocktails available.
Borland is surprised with how supportive the Lexington community has been and how many people have discovered the gastropub simply by walking past it.
Borland thinks the food scene in Lexington is up and coming, and will only continue to grow. She’s excited to contribute to the ever-changing food landscape, and hopes to bring a little diversity to the community and food scene.
East End Tap and Table is now open at 333 East Main Street, Suite 180.
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