No one would ever accuse Lexington of being a hard-drinking town. But when we started preparing our first-ever Lexington Bar Guide, we were surprised to learn just how many watering holes there are in Fayette County.
According to the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which issues liquor licenses, there are more than 600 bars, restaurants and hotels that serve alcohol here.
But which of those rank as great places to drink? That's what the Weekender/LexGo.com Central staff has tried to determine the past few weeks.
We visited tony bistros to sample cocktails, neighborhood joints to swill the beer, wine shops to taste the vino, and everywhere in between.
In the end, we have compiled a list of 70 bars and restaurants where having a drink can be an experience.
See the list of links to the right, where the places are broken into several categories, or click the links here:
Peruse our guide, to discover a new favorite watering hole and learn something new about your neighborhood pub.
Contributing columnist Wendy Miller gives us her impression of Lexington's drinking culture.
You'll also find Q&As with five bartenders we think you should get to know. If you decide to patronize their establishment, tell them we sent you.
It goes without saying: Always drink responsibly, and never ever drink and drive. Any bar will gladly call you a cab if you've had one too many. Please take advantage of that service.
It also goes without saying that we could not include every bar. Because this was our first foray into creating a guide like this, we stuck to places in Fayette County. There are plenty of great bars in the surrounding area, but they aren't included here. We also focused on locally owned places, although a few chains made it in.
If we missed your favorite, in or outside of Lexington, drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; we'll try to include it in next year's guide.
Until then, we hope you have as much fun as we did exploring the variety of bars that Lexington offers, meeting new people along the way and hearing their stories.