Don’t call the new place to eat near downtown Lexington a restaurant: It’s a winery and a brewery that also serves food, according to owner Ron May.
“This is a unique place,” May said. “Lexington is in for a treat.”
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It’s actually going to be the second or third location, depending on how one looks at it. There is an Alexander Bullitt’s Winery and Bistro in Bardstown, and soon there will be another one across the street that has a brewery and serves barbecue. Plans for another location, opening in February, are in the works for Shelbyville.
The one in Lexington will serve Italian food and pub fare with the house-made wine and beer. Alexander Bullitt’s makes wine with a co-op in Claremont and makes beer in Louisville, all sold under the Alexander Bullitt label, named for the founder of Bullitt County.
The restaurant may be secondary but will be as big a draw, May said, with a full menu for lunch and dinner seven days a week and brunch hours on weekends. The third floor, with seating for 100, is available as an event space.
To improve the parking situation, the Clean Sweep Car Wash next door has agreed to let Alexander Bullitt’s customers park there in the evening, adding 125 spaces to the building’s existing lot and street parking.
To manage the full bar, May has hired Jeremiah Cox of the Lexington Bartending School. He needed someone with serious bar experience because he has none, May said.
“Our background is chemistry,” May said. He founded his own pharmaceutical company and developed AloeCaine, a top over-the-counter burn medication.
Despite the lack of bar background, May has big plans for the new Lexington spot and has already exercised an option to buy the building from the Morgans, who built it for their JDI Grille and Tavern, which closed New Year’s Day.