A constant theme in Lexington’s restaurant scene for 2019: change. New restaurants opened to great fanfare while others closed–sometimes with a bang, more often with a quiet whimper.
For our Food Year in Review 2019, click here.
Year in Review: Births and Transitions
Agave & Rye opened in the former Newk’s Eatery at the Fayette Mall.
Apollo Pizza opened its first Lexington location on Leestown Road in Meadowthorpe Shopping Center.
Athenian Grill opened a new location downtown at Park Plaza on East Main Street.
A new Chevy Chase farmers’ market has launched at Apostles Anglican Church on Wednesday mornings.
Chuy’s opened a second location in Hamburg.
Clawdaddy’s on North Broadway closed its doors after six years.
Dave and Buster’s, a full-service restaurant and entertainment arcade, announced plans to begin construction at the Southpark Shopping Center on Nicholasville Road in early 2020.
Drake’s opened in Hamburg next to Malone’s Steakhouse on Justice Drive.
East End Tap and Table opened on East Main Street in the former home of a Dunkin’ Donuts.
Chef Cole Arimes (one of our Fridges of Fayette Co.) opened Epping’s on Eastside and Poppy & Olive on Walton Avenue, which was also named one of the top 20 best new restaurants of 2019, according to OpenTable.
First Watch opened a fourth location off Nicholasville Road in front of Target.
Frank’s Donuts, which has locations in Georgetown, Winchester and Paris, opened its first Lexington location on East Third Street.
The Garage opened in a former 1927 Texaco gas station repair shop on Leestown Road near Masterson Station.
Gather on Main opened on East Main Street where The Casual Pint used to be.
Earlier this year, Graze announced their closure on South Limestone with plans to start over from scratch. A couple months later, the revamped Graze opened inside The Woodlands.
Great Bagel & Bakery opened a second location off Boston Road in the Millpond Shopping Center.
Hanna’s on Lime closed.
Lawrence Weeks was named Executive Chef of Honeywood at The Summit at Fritz Farm.
The Human Bean, a national coffee chain, opened a location on Harrodsburg Road.
Lexington native Jonathan Henderson has been named the new Chef of the Infinity: A Skybar & Cafe.
Chef Jonathan Lundy and Certified Sommelier TJ Cox–the dynamic duo who brought you Corto Lima–announced their plans to open Italx, an avant-garde Italian restaurant inside the City Center development.
The fifth Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse in the country opened in downtown Lexington on Vine Street.
LaRosa’s Family Pizzeria opened their first of five Lexington locations in May on Richmond Road. To keep all of the One Holland restaurants together, they moved First Watch from its Man O’ War location to share building space with the LaRosa’s on Richmond Road. The second LaRosa’s, which is delivery/carry-out only, opened on on Southland Drive in December.
Tyler Donahue has been named Pastry Chef of the Lexington Marriott City Center. Donahue will be creating the menus and guiding the pastry team for The Greatroom Restaurant, Infinity Sky Bar, and the meeting and events of the hotels.
TJ Harville has been named Executive Chef of the Lexington Lexington Marriott City Center and Residence Inn Lexington City Center.
Tim McGowan has been named Banquet Chef of the Lexington Marriott City Center and Residence Inn Lexington City Center hotels.
Martine’s Pastries launched their drink and bottle service in January.
Manchester Coffee Co. opened on Manchester Street.
The McDonald’s on Limestone reopened after a complete remodel.
Mirror Twin Brewery opened a second taproom in the building next door, where Cosmic Charlie’s used to be. Rolling Oven also moved into the shared building at 725 National Avenue.
McLeod’s Coffee House opened on Southland Drive with the goal to prepare special needs employees for more.
Nate’s Coffee opened a shop downtown.
Old School Coffee opened inside Dudley Square on South Mill Street.
The Venues of the Grand Reserve located at 903 Manchester Street will rebrand with a new restaurant, bar and museum along with a new catering service known as Old Tarr Venues, exploring the heritage of the Old Tarr Distillery location.
Outback Steakhouse closed their location on Tiverton Way and relocated to Fayette Mall across from P.F. Chang’s.
Pearl’s Pizza opened on N. Limestone.
Richie’s Chicken opened on East New Circle Road.
Sakura opened a second location on Nicholasville Road in the former Smashburger location.
After 11 years, Sav’s closed on South Limestone, but reopened on East Main Street.
Shakespeare & Co. closed its Hamburg location so that the owner, Edward Saad, could focus his efforts on the original downtown Shakespeare & Co location. This meant launching a new bar and nightclub inside the downtown restaurant.
Shaking Seafood and Wings opened on Mapleleaf Drive.
The Southern Deli & Tavern opened in the former Graze location on South Limestone.
Southland Bagel opened a brick and mortar location on Southland Drive.
Spotz Gelato opened a new location on North Broadway in the former site of Clawdaddy’s.
Storming Crab, crab boil and Cajun seafood eatery, took over the former Applebee’s location on Nicholasville Road.
Taco Tico began construction on a second location in Lexington on Pimlico Parkway.
Taza Mediterranean Grill opened at 543 South Limestone, next door to the former NiceNpan.
Texas Roadhouse on Richmond Road will relocate across the road in the former parking lot of Walmart.
Thrive Kombucha celebrated their one year anniversary of their brick and mortar location on N. Limestone.
Tilted Kilt opened on South Broadway next to KSBar and Grille.
Wise Bird Cider Co. opened in the Distillery District.
33 Staves, a new chef-driven Southern-inspired restaurant, opened inside The Origin Hotel in The Summit at Fritz Farm.
Year in Review: Obits and Transitions
Athenian Grill closed the Locus Hill location as a daily restaurant to transform it into a space for catering and events.
Babalu Tapas and Tacos, which was located in the Summit at Fritz Farm, closed.
Barista Social closed its location on Malabu Drive.
Bd’s Mongolian Grill closed their newest location next to Malibu Jacks on Nicholasville Road.
BurgerFi and Moe’s near Cinemark Fayette Mall will reopen in a new building at the former site of Johnny Carino’s on Nicholasville Road.
Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse on Richmond Road, in the former Coba Cocina location near Idle Hour, closed.
Mandarin Cafe in Zandale closed.
Metropolitan Donuts and Coffee closed its doors in the Beaumont area.
The Mill Bakery on Southland Drive closed after being open for 18 months.
Napa Prime closed on South Broadway, but their Versailles location is still open.
Nash’s Southern Table and Bar opened in May of 2019, but closed a couple months later.
Painted Taco openedinside a renovated 1940s auto body garage on Rosemont Garden, but appears to be closed for the time being.
The Sweet Spot located on North Broadway closed.
Ted’s Montana Grill closed its location in The Summit at Fritz Farm.
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