Iconic Harvey’s space transforms to Lexington’s newest eclectic spot
BY KRISTINA ROSEN
Nearly a year of temporary closures gave some small businesses a chance to dream. Pop-up food concepts found ways to collaborate with brick-and-mortars, and some pop-ups even secured lasting homes. This time last year, Kismet opened a permanent spot at The Burl after its beloved stint as a pop-up at Best Friends Bar. CurryCurry Katsu operated out of Honeywood this past winter, while Pasture has been serving snacks at Al’s Bar since the spring.
The trend of businesses collaborating continues with The Grove. The team at Harvey’s Bar has teamed up with a medley of local businesses to re-open to the public with a new community-centric sense of purpose.
After more than 15 years at the corner of Main and Upper Street, Harvey’s Bar temporarily closed its doors in 2020. Avena Kiely, owner of Harvey’s and chief dreamer of The Grove, explains, “We always knew Harvey’s Bar was coming back, but the pandemic opened our eyes to a much bigger purpose and a better way to serve our community. Tapping into our personal and professional networks, we formed a local collective of like-minded entrepreneurs who share our passion for supporting each other’s businesses and helping Lexington safely celebrate life’s twists and turns. That’s when The Grove was born.”
The Grove is a micro-community that embraces and supports other local businesses, including Harvey’s Bar and Beer Garden, Fable, Luna, and The Melodeon. Harvey’s reopens as Harvey’s Bar and Beer Garden, offering artisanal cocktails and brews. Fable provides charcuterie boards and wine selections, Luna is a new vintage food truck from Chef Stephania Sharkey, and The Melodeon acts as an event space.
Lauren Hardesty of Fable says, “It really doesn’t matter what you’re looking for, this space has that.”
The moral of the story, according to Fable, is that life’s too short for bad wine or basic cheese.
Lauren Hardesty, co-creator of Fête Boards, partnered with seasoned Sommelier Ellis Delahousay to open Fable inside Harvey’s Bar and Beer Garden in downtown Lexington. Fable offers wine and cheese pairings, along with delivery and takeaway customizable charcuterie boards.
Fresh seasonal ingredients are used on the board—so fresh that Fable doesn’t actually have a permanent menu. “We try and support our local community,” Hardesty says in terms of ingredients she uses. Every board is made to order and all boards are made differently, she shares, “kind of like a work of art.”
Before having her own brick-and-mortar spot, Hardesty used kitchen space at Favor. Now that Fable has its own space, and what might be Lexington’s first charcuterie-only public kitchen, there are plans to host weekly wine tasting classes with cheese pairings. Fable offers nearly 30 different wines to purchase by the bottle or glass.
TThe Grove is situated within one of Lexington’s most renowned historic buildings on the corner of Main and Upper. Artist Wylie Caudill created two wall murals for the space.
“The inspiration for the murals for the Grove and Fable came from a combina-tion of Irish folklore and Aesop’s fables,” says Caudill. One mural adorns the side of Harvey’s on Upper Street, visible by anyone driving by and displaying an image of Aesop’s fable about the fox and the crow. The other mural is in the backyard garden of the Grove.
“I knew the murals had to be whimsical and interactive. I was given permission to run free with the ideas and design pieces that would transport patrons from downtown Lexington to the pages of a story book.”
This article also appears on page 17 of the June 2021 print edition of ace magazine.
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