K-Lair, iconic University of Kentucky eatery, set for demolition

meads@herald-leader.comMay 13, 2013 

After marking a popular University of Kentucky dining spot for 52 years, the signs at K-Lair were taken down Monday.

The building that housed K-Lair will be demolished to make room for a new dormitory as part of UK's master plan to increase the number of beds on campus. Haggin Hall, the student housing adjacent to K-Lair, also is scheduled for demolition.

A small group of people, including former K-Lair employees, watched as the restaurant's sign was removed.

"It's marking the end of an era of 50 years," said Ray Schmidt, associate director of dining services.

The signs will be put in storage, and plans are to refurbish them. After being exposed to the elements for 52 years, the signs are slightly worn and rusty, UK spokeswoman Gail Green Hairston said.

The refurbished signs might be used in the décor of a new K-Lair, said Penny Cox, housing project implementation director.

A new K-Lair would be included in the new dorm under revised plans expected to be proposed Tuesday at a Board of Trustees meeting. The revision would add 64 beds for a total of 396 in the new dorm, also to be called Haggin Hall.

It is unclear whether a new K-Lair would maintain a similar menu or atmosphere, Cox said. More detailed planning will occur if the board approves the proposal.

A new K-Lair would be larger, she said.

The university-owned K-Lair, which opened in 1961, closed May 3.

People were allowed to write farewells on its walls during K-Lair's last days of operation.

"It is a way of letting customers say goodbye," Schmidt said.

It wasn't just students who scrawled their stories on the walls of the eatery, Schmidt said. Alumni and parents picking up their students on move-out day came in to share their stories.

The exact date of demolition is unclear. UK's food storage is in a separate section of the same building but will not be torn down, Cox said.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service