Cheapside Bar & Grill, 131 Cheapside, is celebrating its 30th anniversary Tuesday, which is St. Patrick's Day. Now owned by Robin Campbell, the bar was opened in 1985 by Keith Clark and David Doucoumes.
"Keith brought me in to set up the bar, and I ended up being the manager and then partner, soon after," Campbell said. "The NCAA Final Four was being held at Rupp, and there were very few places for people to celebrate downtown, so Cheapside was born. We started with just the main bar area, then knocked out a wall to open onto a patio. It was a huge hit, with legendary Friday Happy Hours."
Cheapside added a kitchen, dining room and full menu in 1990. The restaurant's Southwest-inspired menu has expanded to focus on modern Mexican cuisine, featuring roasted and smoked meats, the vibrant south of the border flavors of charred peppers, moles, grilled citrus and garden-fresh salsas.
For this year's anniversary, Cheapside will kick off a week of food and drink specials at 10 a.m. Saturday. The menu will include house-braised corned beef with Guinness cabbage and new potatoes, roasted leg of lamb stew, hand-cut Reubens with Guinness kraut and Aunt Marcy's Famous Reuben Dip with rye crisps.
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■ Lexington's St. Patrick's Day festival will kick off Saturday with the Blessing of the Keg: A local priest will bless a keg of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout at Fifth Third Pavilion at 11 a.m. Before and after the St. Patrick's Day parade, Alltech Kentucky Ale will be set up on the Short Street side of the pavilion pouring all five of its year-round beer brands.
■ Both Shamrock Bar & Grill locations, 154 Patchen Drive and 4750 Hartland Parkway, will be celebrating Tuesday with traditional Irish fare including corned beef, cabbage, colcannon, carrots and soda bread. They also will have green beer and Guinness specials, beginning at 9 a.m.
On Saturday, Shamrock will celebrate the Kentucky Wildcats with food specials and $11 buckets of Bud, Bud Light, Miller Lite & Coors Light longnecks, and $7.25 pitchers of Bud Light and Miller Lite.
■ Because of Saturday's St. Patrick's festivities at Fifth Third Pavilion, the Lexington Farmers Market will be in the parking lot on Water Street behind the Lexington Fayette Government Center. Look for it underneath the Abraham Lincoln mural from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market will be back at Cheapside next week.
■ Alfalfa Restaurant, 141 E. Main St., will have brunch specials: Irish cream cinnamon french toast with whisky-peach topping and an Irish breakfast with bangers, potatoes, eggs, Irish-style baked beans and sliced tomato on Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For dinner, Alfalfa will have corned beef, roast chicken, and McClanahan stew with potatoes, onions, cabbage, carrots and white beans simmered in beer. Homemade soda bread and Irish cream cheesecake, too.
■ All four locations of "O'Ramsey's" (Ramsey's every other day of the year) will celebrate on Tuesday with corned beef and cabbage with blarney vegetables; Irish stew; Irish soda bread; green Kentucky Ale Kolsch beer with commemorative take-home mug and, of course, Missy's Bailey's Irish Cream cheesecake. The party starts at 11:00 a.m. .
■ Williams-Sonoma at Fayette Mall will host a free bridal event from noon to 4 p.m. March 28. It is aimed at helping brides and grooms plan for their upcoming events. Williams-Sonoma will have a wedding registry specialist available, as well as a chef and design specialist to answer questions. Participating vendors will include wedding photographer Julie Roberts; florist Emily Whipple of Atelier in Bloom; Mulberry on Lime, with an eclectic mix of gifts for the home; Martine's Pastries, with wedding cakes; Jared The Galleria of Jewelry; and Liberty Hall, an outdoor wedding venue. No reservations are necessary. (859) 272-5856.
■ Bakery Blessings & Bookstore @ the Bar, 1999 Harrodsburg Rd., is taking orders for anything Irish for Tuesday: soda bread, minty shortbread cookies, shamrock sugar cookies, cream de menthe brownies, dark chocolate Irish cream cake and more. Call Jan at (859) 554-6044 or email Jan@Aprilword.com.