Ace Eats Out – What Lexington Eats, September 2020

Ace Eats Out – What Lexington Eats, September 2020

Ace Eats Out for September 2020


Lexington’s food scene is ever-changing and at no point has that ever been more true than during a global pandemic. In recent months, new restaurants have opened to eager fanfare, at least one has been resurrected, while others closed with a bang, and a few with a whimper. Others are still cycling in and out of open/closed as they respond to positive tests within their staff, and as phased re-openings have rolled capacity forward and backward.



Alfalfa Restaurant closed in March, but reopened under new ownership a few months later. Owners Tiffany El-Amin and Wali Yusuf El-Amin hosted a ribbon cutting and official reopening for the restaurant in August.

Bandido Taqueria Mexicana, located at Center Court on South Upper Street, will host a grand opening in September.

Eiffel Pizza, with its original location on Buckhorn Dr, opened a second location at the UK Student Center.

El Mariachi Mexican Restaurant opened a second location in the former Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe in Hamburg.

Tudor’s Biscuit World finally make its way to Lexington with a new spot opening soon on East New Circle Road.




Best Friend Bar on Euclid Avenue closed its doors in August. The dive bar was well known for hosting pop-up food events, including the recently opened Kismet now permanently located at The Burl



Critchfield Meats is revamping the former Save-A-Lot on Southland Road and transforming it into Critchfield Meats Family Market. The company will trade their current location in Zandale on Nicholasville Road for a bigger space to include a full-service grocery store, restaurant, deli and bakery, seating areas, and more parking space.

Wm. Tarr Distillery will be resurrected in the form of a still room, gift shop and bar in Pepper Rickhouse of Lexington’s Distillery District this fall.



Favor on North Lime opens quietly amid pandemic

Tucked behind Arcadium sits Favor, a new food venue recently opened by Wyatt Sarbacker. Sarbacker has had his hand in opening and collaborating with several prominent local projects like The Village Idiot, Marksbury Farm, and Gents Original.

The inspiration for Favor came from the idea to help each other and share ideas, and to use products from partners carefully and thoughtfully. Sarbacker adds, “We’re here to accommodate the farmers and producers, they are the ones doing the real work.” 

Favor fills the missing void Arcadium needed in terms of having a permanent food operation on site. It’s fast casual dining for now with emphasis on carry out due to in-person dining restrictions. Guests can order online for pick up, and enjoy their meal on the patio. Reservations can be made in advance to eat inside.

“It’s a whole different world for restaurants, and we are fortunate as a new operation to be somewhat malleable,” says Sarbacker. 

“The industry is in shambles. I’m just trying to make snacks and feed people.”



Kentucky’s first black-owned distillery announces first release

Pre-orders are now available for Fresh Bourbon Kentucky’s limited first release, expected to ship late 2020 or early 2021. This release will mark the first bourbon developed fully grain-to-glass in Kentucky by African Americans and the limited first release will be sold in commemorative packaging to celebrate the achievement.
Pre-order will be available through September 30, 2020 on their website.


Jeff Ruby’s Derby Lunch Event 

Celebrating the Derby is a Kentucky tradition so join Jeff Ruby’s in Lexington for a special lunch watch event on Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5. There will be a special menu featuring Jeff Ruby classics and Derby favorites. Races will be televised on displays throughout the restaurant and patio, and Keeneland-supplied Betologists will be there each day.


Dining Out for Life 2020

The eleventh annual Dining Out For Life® event, benefiting AVOL, is scheduled for Thursday, September 10.


Happy 3rd Birthday, DV8 Kitchen

The third annual DV8K scheduled in August was cancelled. In place of the annual fundraising event, DV8 Kitchen will launch a Month of Giving throughout September.


Taste of the Bluegrass 2020

Lexington’s longest-running tasting event for the past 40 years looks a lot different this year. Taste of the Bluegrass is God Pantry Food Bank’s biggest annual fundraiser, but with the cancellation of the annual event brings More Than A Meal, a new food and beverage package that still gives back to the community. Receive five discount coupons to be used at any of the participating food and beverage partners. Coupons are valid during Hunger Action Month, September 1-30, 2020 at participating locations.



This article also appears on page 17 of the September 2020 print edition of Ace Weekly.

Ace Eats Out is curated by Kristina Rosen. Email her at [email protected]. To advertise in Ace’s food section, email [email protected]

For restaurant advertising, call Ace Advertising at 859.225.4889 ext229 or email [email protected]