One of the perks of waiting tables or bartending is the discounts and freebies. So imagine if you're the owner or head honcho. But you can't always eat or drink at your own place.
We asked the owners and leaders of some of Lexington's best-known bars where they like to visit other than their own establishments and whether they've gotten inspired to change up their own fare.
The answers were sometimes surprising.
DAVE SPREITZER, owner of O'Neill's, Campus Pub and Patchen Pub
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A.P. Suggins "is a place I enjoy going to have a drink," said Spreitzer, 55. "The age group at the bar has me by 20 years. I enjoy listening to their stories.
"People at my age say I should have plenty of stories, and I probably do, but listening to their stories is so entertaining and the community is so very appealing."
Has Spreitzer picked up a few tips from his Romany Road hangout?
"Once you've been in the bar business as long as I have, there's absolutely nothing new," he said. He started in the industry in the latter half of the '80s and came back in 2002, when he bought Patchen Pub. "There's nothing somebody hasn't tried."
A.P. Suggins: 345 Romany Rd. (859) 268-0709. Suggins.com. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu.; 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Fri., Sat.
Campus Pub: 393 Waller Ave. (859) 231-0957, Campuspub.net. Hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 a.m. daily
O'Neills: 2051 Richmond Rd. (859) 266-4488. Hours: 3 p.m.-closing Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-2:30 a.m. Fri.-Sat.
Patchen Pub: 153 Patchen Dr. (859) 266-7531, Patchenpub.com. Hours: 2 p.m.-2:30 a.m. daily
LARRY DEAN, general manager of Wines on Vine
"I'm a strange bird because I go to Malabu Pub after work at night, and it's a neighborhood dive," said Dean, who has led everyday operations of one of Lexington's most upscale establishments for several years, including a long time as co-owner of the A1A complex on Main Street.
"It has great prices, karaoke and lots of regulars, so you know everybody," Dean said. "I've been going there for years. It's my little Cheers."
Known for his karaoke singing, he's called Larry-oke by the gang there.
"I do everything from Ray Charles to (Jimmy) Buffett to Frank Sinatra to The Drifters and The Temptations," Dean said. "I'm all over the board."
Malabu Pub and Grille: 239 Surfside Dr. (859) 278-9003. Hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 a.m. daily.
Wines on Vine: 400 Old Vine St. (859) 243-0017. Winesonvine.net. Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., 5-9 p.m. Mon.-Wed., 5-10 p.m. Thu.-Sat.
EVAN TROMMER, owner of Village Host Pizza
"The place my wife and I go to the most is Portofino," Trommer said. "We enjoy having a nice bottle of wine and their dinner down there."
Trommer complimented the restaurant and bar's atmosphere and "nice wine selection."
Since he and his wife, Kathy, came to Kentucky from California, where Mexican restaurants are more common, they also "frequent a few of the Mexican places like Mi Mexico and Jalapeños."
Jalapeños: 1030 S. Broadway; (859) 281-5171. 295 W. New Circle Rd.; (859) 299-8299. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-10:30 Fri., noon-10:30 p.m. Sat., noon-10 p.m. Sun.
Mi Mexico: 3165 Beaumont Centre Cir., Suite 180; (859) 219-0210. 3280 Eagle View Ln. (859) 263-2225. Mimexicoky.com. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri., Sat.
Portofino: 249 E. Main St., in the Thomas and King building. (859) 253-9300. Portofinolexington.com. Hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 5-10 p.m. Sun.-Thu.; 5-11 p.m. Fri., Sat.
Village Host Pizza: 431 Old Vine St. (859) 455-3355. Villagehostlex.com. Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.-Thu.; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri., Sat.
DEBBIE LONG, owner of Dudley's on Short
"Home is good for me," Long said, laughing. "When you've done this so long and you have an opportunity to be home, it's just so awesome to be there.
"I want a nice glass of wine and feel glad to be home."
That's not to say that Long never goes out. She prefers the downtown scene.
"In wintertime, I love going to Jonathan's," she said. "It's real cozy."
Dudley's on Short: 259 W. Short St., Suite 125. (859) 252-1010. Dudleysrestaurant.com. Hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. daily; 5:30-10 p.m. Sun.-Thu.; 5:30-11 p.m. Fri., Sat.
Jonathan at Gratz Park: 120 W. Second St. (859) 252-4949. JAGP.info. Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30-10 p.m. daily. Bar hours: 5 p.m.-"whenever" daily.