The new owners of the U.S. 60 castle are taking reservations for the restaurant and hotel operating there and plans are in place for a 55-acre farm on-site.
A group of investors bought the property for $8.7 million in July. CastlePost had been closed off and on for renovations since it was purchased.
The large working farm will be designed to provide some produce and meat for diners. The chicken coops were put in this week, said Matt Dawson, a University of Kentucky emergency room physician and one of the new owners. He hopes vegetables will be planted in the spring. Plans call for a pond and a truffle orchard.
The area at the back of the castle will be home to the hens, vegetables and an apiary while the front of the castle will be used as pasture.
“We want to be able to educate people,” about where their food comes from, Dawson said. To build off that, there are preliminary plans for cooking classes in January.
Right now, events include a “Repeal Day bourbon dinner party” on Dec. 5 and murder mystery dinners on Dec. 10, 13 and 29. Tickets for the murder mystery dinners are $75 and include a “delicious buffet fit for a king.”
Also, for the younger crowd, the castle will host Christmas brunches with Santa from Dec. 19 to 22, Dawson said. The brunch will cost $25 for adults, $15 for kids 12 years old and younger.
Lunch and dinner tours of CastlePost are offered only on Sundays and Mondays. The lunch tour is at 11 a.m. and noon and is $35 for adults; $10 for children younger than 12. Children younger than 3 eat for free. Dinner tours are $65 for adults; $25 for children younger than 12 and children younger than 3 eat free.
Currently, lunch by itself is not available although owners are considering that. But dinner is available without the tour from 5 to 10:15 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Preparing the food are several cooks, led by local chef and farmer Jason Walls and Kim Brown, who was a former chef at the Lexington Country Club.
Although the online dinner menu includes $27 scallops as an appetizer, that item is being removed within the next week for a Kentucky paddlefish/Kentucky caviar product. Dawson said the scallops were a popular item, but they wanted to replace it with a Kentucky product.
Other online menu items include: grass-fed local Kentucky Proud filet mignon for $47 and a local half Cornish game hen for $29.
Menu items will change with the season, Dawson said. A winter menu will likely replace the current menus within the next month.
CastlePost also offers lodging, with rooms and suites available, some of which are pet friendly. Rates range from a one-bed $195 room to the $495 “Grove Chalet,” which accommodates four people on two floors and comes with a small kitchen. The chalet overlooks farmland and the castle courtyard.
In total, CastlePost has 11 room options. The rooms also have vaulted ceilings and Dawson hopes the pool will be operational before Memorial Day.
Lexington contractor Rex Martin Sr. started building the castle’s exterior walls in 1969, but its interior sat unfinished and empty for decades.
Then Florida lawyer Tom Post, a graduate of Lexington’s Lafayette High School and the University of Kentucky, bought it for $1.8 million in 2003.
While it was being restored, a May 2004 fire burned the structure. But Post rebuilt it and in 2008 opened it as CastlePost. In recent years it had become a popular place for weddings and for charity fundraisers.
Since coming under new ownership, CastlePost has received accolades from other media publications. Earlier this month, Architectural Digest called the castle the most beautiful hotel in Kentucky.
Mark Pope, a former player on the University of Kentucky’s 1996 NCAA basketball championship team and current coach of the Utah Valley Wolverines, visited CastlePost prior to the game against the University of Kentucky on Nov. 10.
At the time of the purchase, Dawson said he was familiar with the castle because he has hosted a medical conference there for six years.
“It’s an amazing venue and everyone is in awe when they step in it the first time,” Dawson said. “Seeing the experience my guests have had, we felt like that could be brought to a lot more people as well.”