Sharon Thompson's Tidbits: The Jax joins downtown's nighttime scene

swthompson@herald-leader.comMay 16, 2013 Updated 2 hours ago

The Jax is Lexington's newest restaurant to join Short Street's burgeoning entertainment district.

Owner Aimee Lovitz said the name originated from fond childhood memories of playing jacks with her grandmother.

The restaurant, lounge, and late-night and events venue features "globally inspired, locally infused cuisine, cocktails and culture," Lovitz said.

The executive chef is Natalie Blake, a contestant on season nine of Fox's reality competition Hell's Kitchen. Lovitz's brother Brad is general manager.

Aimee Lovitz consulted with Wild Thyme owner Allison Davis to create a menu sourced with fresh, local ingredients.

The Jax is at 101 West Short Street, at North Limestone, in the space briefly occupied by Rosetta and before that Mia's and Anna Belle's. Hours are 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday. Call (859) 721-2339.

OPENINGS AND CHANGES

Graeter's Ice Cream opened its second Lexington location — at 1925 Justice Drive in Hamburg, beside Malone's restaurant — this week. The store, which serves the Cincinnati company's famous French pot ice cream, sorbet and more, is operated by franchisees Jim and Jay Tedesco. They manage several Graeter's stores in Louisville and southern Indiana, and relaunched Graeter's in Lexington last year with a store at 836 Euclid Avenue. The chain had been absent from the city since 2010, when eight stores in Central and Northern Kentucky closed because of problems with the previous franchisee.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Gold Star Chili, 350 Foreman Avenue, off South Broadway, has reopened and offers an expanded menu that includes gourmet burgers and chicken sandwiches. The store will celebrate its reopening with Customer Appreciation Day on June 5, offering Gold Star Chili's signature three-way chili for $3. Call (859) 317-9240. Go to Goldstarchili.com.

■ Construction workers are at Parkette Drive-In, but they're not there for the Poor Boys. The crew is building a cover for the back patio and installing six garage doors around it. "The décor is going to be a retro '50s garage," co- owner Randy Kaplan said. "With the addition, we'll add more than 90 seats." The remodeling is expected to be complete by the end of June. Parkette is at 1230 East New Circle Road. Call (859) 254-8723 or go to Theparkette.com.

SPECIALS

■ Fresh asparagus from Greenwood Farm in Versailles is on the menu at Ramsey's Diners. Locations are 496 East High Street, 4053 Tates Creek Centre, 3090 Helmsdale Drive and 4391 Harrodsburg Road. Go to Ramseysdiners.com.

EVENTS

■ It's not too late to pick up tickets for the Taste of the Bluegrass, 7 p.m. Friday at Keeneland's Keene Barn and Entertainment Center, 4201 Versailles Road. Tickets, $75, are available at Kroger and Central Bank locations. Local restaurants and beverage distributors show off their best dishes and drinks at the annual event, which benefits God's Pantry Food Bank and the Bluegrass Chapter of the Kentucky Restaurant Association. Go to Godspantryfoodbank.org.

■ The seventh annual Kentucky Ale Brew-Off will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co., 401 Cross Street. Home brewers will be brewing on site as part of Lexington Craft Beer Week. The winning beer will be scaled up to a single, commercial-size batch by Alltech and sold on tap locally. The winner also will have his or her batch entered into the 2013 Pro-Am Competition at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver in October.

■ Chef Chris Eliopoulos is preparing an Ionian menu for Saturday's monthly Greek dinner at Panagia Pantovasilissa Greek Orthodox Church, 920 Tates Creek Road. The dinner, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., features a choice of chicken in orange glaze, tilapia in spinach, or pork loin. The cost is $12. Call (859) 266-1921 or go to Greekdinner.com.

Staxx BBQ, 11 Carson Place, Frankfort, is celebrating its second anniversary Friday. Guests may buy any sandwich combo and receive a sandwich combo free from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; buy a pound of pork and receive a pound of pork free from 2 to 5 p.m.; and buy two racks of ribs and receive a rack of ribs free from 5 to 9 p.m. Call (502) 352-2515 or go to Staxxbbq.com.

FARMERS MARKET REPORTS

Bluegrass Farmers' Market will have spring greens, asparagus, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, baked goods, jams, herb seasoning, beer cheese, lamb, goat, veal, beef, pork, eggs, soaps and veggie plants on Saturday. The market is at 3450 Richmond Road, in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Go to Bluegrassfarmersmarket.org.

■ The farmers market at Azur Restaurant in Beaumont Centre is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Call (859) 296-1007 or go to Azurrestaurant.com.

Lexington Farmers Market vendors will have lettuce, spinach, asparagus, arugula, kale, collards, sweet potatoes, and green garlic. For locations, go to Lexingtonfarmersmarket.com.

Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog: Flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com.

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