The first Karin West knew of her diner’s impending worldwide exposure was when someone from Lexington Mayor Jim Gray’s office called to ask whether Lexington Diner could host a Steve Beshear event.
The event was Tuesday night’s Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s address to Congress, delivered by former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear.
The 49-seat diner at 124 North Upper Street opened in 2014. Beshear and his wife, Jane, had met diner chef and co-owner Ranada Riley at a Greenhouse 17 event in 2016. The nonprofit was previously known as Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program.
The televised response aired about 10:15 p.m. It showed Beshear sitting in the Lexington Diner with about 24 other people seated around the restaurant. West said she served beverages and some Mardi Gras fare including grits, gumbo, muffins and cake to the crowd before the segment aired.
“It didn’t really sink in until last night that this is going all over the world from our little diner,” said West, who also is a co-owner. “I was very honored to have them here, just to share in that little piece of history.”
Lexington Diner’s selection was fortunate, West said, because “a diner is the heart of the city. Food is about people.”