To the Boonies
Head east for an artisanal take on hot dogs
BY KRISTINA ROSEN
Hand crafted artisanal hot dogs? Boonedogs on Old Richmond Road is soon to fill a niche Lexington never even knew it always wanted.
“Boonedogs is all about exploring a new frontier of flavor,” says co-owner Tim Jones. “Dressed up dogs for dressed down friends. Turning a standard hot dog into something special with creativity and fresh ingredients.”
“The DNA of Boonedogs is craft and creativity,” he adds, “using as many local resources as we can from architects, chefs, and ingredients.”
Jones, who is the founder and CEO of Gents Original, always said if he was going to open a food concept, he would look inward before outward. Jones co-owns Boonedogs with his wife, Jessica, along with Hilary and Charlotte Boone.
Boonedogs will explore different “off the beaten path” type sausages like wild boar, pheasant, and venison. Wyatt Sarbacker, who recently opened Favor, was in charge of the menu. When asked how he planned to turn an overlooked menu item into something creative, he explained he’s “taking unique regional products and putting them together in a fun and familiar format.”
The restaurant designing husband-wife duo of Rebecca Burnworth of Burnworth Design and Eric Burnworth of Burnworth Builds transformed the interior space.
Rebecca Burnworth (who designed Buddha Lounge, Crank and Boom, Ethereal Brewing), admits her inspiration came from the collaboration among creatives. “I loved, loved, loved having that many creative people giving me food concepts and all the branding, and using that as the driving force.” She adds, “As an architect, I’m always creating the box for the clients’ branding.”
Boonedogs will have a fun, casual vibe featuring neon signs and quirky designs. An interior neon sign, which was created by Richard Garr of (Nicholasville-based) Advent Signs & Neon, hangs near the bar. Garr is one of the last traditional sign makers in the area.
While the theme of resurrection has been apparent in Lexington’s food scene the past couple of months, there’s never been a bigger need for a food-convenience store-hybrid concept. The forthcoming restaurant sits in the former location of Judyray’s, which used to be a neighborhood convenience store. Boonedogs will also stock convenience staples, prepackaged hot dogs and sausages, to-go items, along with bourbon, wine, and beer.
At this point in the pandemic, new restaurants must quickly adapt to the current landscape of the industry. “We want to open a safe restaurant that can handle this new norm for the industry. Let’s learn, get the doors open, and go for it,” says Jones.
With about an acre of green space for outdoor seating and the last-minute decision to add a covered deck patio, there are plenty of safe, socially distant seating options. There will be a bigger emphasis on online orders, outdoor seating and carry out initially, which are services that have stayed crucial for most restaurants.
Jones says, “We want to be a can’t-miss stop in Lexington. It’s important for tourism, a hop off the interstate stop in Lexington. We want locals to embrace it.”
Boonedogs opens soon at 5902 Old Richmond Road, on the corner of Jacks Creek Pike.
This article also appears on page 16 of the October 2020 print edition of Ace Weekly.
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