When the owners of South Carolina's six Copper River Grill restaurants decided to venture outside their home state, they chose Nicholasville.
CEO Steve Jackson said the area was selected because of a relationship with the developer and the fast-growing Lexington market.
"Demographically it fits our customer base," he said. "We are an all-American scratch kitchen. The majority of our product is made from scratch, in house. Nothing frozen. All fresh produce, fresh beef, fresh chicken, fresh seafood."
Nathan Reese owns and operates the Nicholasville store, 501 KeeneCentre Drive. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call (859) 885-0044 or go to Copperrivergrill.com.
The menu includes firecracker shrimp mac and cheese, which is fried shrimp on top of corkscrew pasta tossed in a chipotle queso; and the "Bigfoots' mother-in-law burger," topped with ham, fried shrimp and remoulade. Stone-fired pizzas, steaks, seafood and pasta also are on the menu. Giant "table-size" desserts include cinnamon apple crumb cobbler, white chocolate banana pudding, and N'Awlins bread pudding.
More new locations
■ Smashing Tomato plans to open its third location this summer, in French Quarter Square, 2573 Richmond Road. Its parent company, Tomato Express, also owns Bella Notte Italian Trattoria, 3715 Nicholasville Road. Other Smashing Tomato restaurants are at The Mall at Fayette Place, and 2200 War Admiral Way in Hamburg. Go to Smashingtomato.com.
■ Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich Shops has opened its seventh Lexington location: 3735 Palomar Centre Drive. Go to Jimmyjohns.com or call (859) 523-6999.
■ Holly Hill Inn, 426 North Winter Street in Midway, is having an Italian family feast Friday and Saturday. Chef/owner Ouita Michel and sous chef Lisa Laufer will prepare a five-course dinner that includes potato gnocchi with Dungeness crab, roast pork with figs and dates served with Weisenberger polenta and cannellini beans with escarole, and Mary Parlanti's rum custard torte. Seating is at 7 p.m. The cost is $40. A three-glass Italian wine flight is $18. Call (859) 846-4732 or go to Hollyhillinn.com.
■ Bluegrass Catering's The Barrel House, 903 Manchester Street, serves a champagne brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for $20. Call (859) 608-5069 or go to Bluegrasscatering.com.
■ Goodfellas Pizzeria at Two Keys Tavern, 333 South Limestone, is offering "all you can eat Tuesdays" from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $7. Gourmet pizzas include pesto chicken, steak asparagus, tomato basil, and sun-dried tomato and roasted red pepper. Call (859) 523-3353.
Temple's deli is back on Sunday
If you've been hungering for a great deli sandwich, you're in luck: TAI on Rye, the New York-style deli at Temple Adath Israel, will be back again Sunday.
The sandwich menu includes pastrami; corned beef; and egg, chicken and tuna salads. There's also homemade chopped liver. The specials Sunday will be beef brisket with potato kugel, and for dessert there's hamantaschen, a triangular pastry with fruit, chocolate or poppy seed fillings.
Hours are noon to 2:30 p.m., and food is available for dine-in or carry-out. The menu is at Lextai.org/tai_on_rye.The temple is at 124 North Ashland Avenue.
The temple preschool will hold a silent auction in conjunction with the deli.
Wine and beer tastings
■ Euro Wine Bar, 102 South Main Street, Nicholasville, will have a wine tasting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Arizona Stronghold wines by Maynard Keenan of the band Tool will be tasted along with a viewing of his documentary about the wines. Call (859) 608-4435.
■ Chase Tap Room, 135 North Broadway, is hosting Sierra Nevada Pint Night at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Members of the brewery will be on hand to discuss the pale ale and Glissade. Call (859) 621-5831.
Free T-shirts and cake
Marikka's Restaurant und Bier Stube, 411 Southland Drive, is celebrating its 20th anniversary and giving away T-shirts and cake. Beginning Tuesday, the first 1,000 customers will receive shirts, and throughout March, diners will receive free German chocolate or Black Forest cake with the purchase of an entrée. Call (859) 275-1925.
An add-on at Nick Ryan's
Nick Ryan's Saloon, which opened in November at 157 West Jefferson Street, is expanding to the house next door. The project, which will include more parking spaces for the popular dining spot, a patio, a prep kitchen, and seats for about 30, is expected to be completed in May. Call (859) 233-7900 or go to Nickryans.com.
Making some changes
■ J.J. McBrewster's, 3101 Clays Mill Road, has added items to its menu. The restaurant, recently featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, is serving Southern-style fried catfish, po' boy sandwiches, and made-from-scratch hush puppies and French fries. Call (859) 224-0040 or go to Jjmcbrewsters.com.
■ Lunch has returned at J. Morse on Vine Bistro, 102 West Vine Street. The menu features French dip, reuben, club and hoagie sandwiches; salads, and soups. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. To-go-orders are available. Call (859) 368-9888 or go to Jmorseonvine.com.