Restaurant News & Reviews

Food hall featuring local flavor opens in The Summit in September

Whiskey Bear will be a bar from Dan and Flo Marlowe in The Barn food hall at The Summit at Fritz Farm.
Whiskey Bear will be a bar from Dan and Flo Marlowe in The Barn food hall at The Summit at Fritz Farm. Rendering provided

The dining choices at The Summit at Fritz Farm, the $165 million mixed-use development in Lexington, will get a massive injection of local flavor with the opening in early September of The Barn, the region’s first food hall.

A series of individual restaurants and other purveyors under one roof with a common seating area, the 10,000-square-foot food hall will be the centerpiece of the retail, dining and luxury living site. Food halls, especially those focused on local food and drinks, have become economic engines in other cities.

The challenge for Bayer Properties, developer of The Summit, will be to replicate that success in a suburban environment surrounded by high-end shopping and exciting eateries like Honeywood and Shake Shack.

The Barn is tentatively scheduled to have its grand opening around the second weekend in September.

Its stalls will include popular Lexington dining choices, a regional option and some surprises:

▪  Athenian Grill and Deli will offer Greek food and sandwiches from local restaurateur Ilias Papas.

▪  Toa and Mike Green’s Crank & Boom will have gourmet ice cream.

▪  Chef Dan Wu will serve up noodles and more at Atomic Ramen.

▪  Smithtown Seafood will serve creative seafood options and salads.

▪  Pasture by Marksbury Farm will focus on local, pasture-raised chicken and grass-fed burgers.

And new to the mix will be:

▪  Whiskey Bear, a new bar from Daniel and Flo Marlowe, formerly the owners of the Table 310 restaurant on Short Street.

Whiskey Bear will be a “neighborhood bar,” Daniel Marlowe said, focusing on “an extensive selection of bourbon and other whiskeys, classic cocktails and a carefully curated beer and wine list to complement the foods offerings in The Barn.”

Customers will be able to get drinks at Whiskey Bear and food from any of the restaurants and sit in seating inside The Barn. Original plans from Bayer also call for a venue for live music.

Marlowe said they are thrilled with their new “roommates” at The Barn. “Each of the parts has a desire to make the whole really something special, and I think it will be,” he said.

The Barn also will have a stall for pop-up dry goods retail and one permanent retail tenant: Kentucky for Kentucky will have its second bricks and mortar store there, selling quirky Kentucky-themed merchandise.

Whit Hiler, co-owner of Kentucky for Kentucky with Griffin VanMeter, said that foot traffic was one reason they decided to open their second location at The Summit.

“We always thought our second location would likely be Louisville, but they approached us … and said they were doing this really cool concept,” Hiler said. They were sold on the idea of being near friends like Dan Wu and Crank & Boom, he said.

So, in addition to the Kentucky Fun Mall they have downtown, they will put in a “Kentucky Fun Stall,” Hiler said.

“It’s almost like a different world out there,” he said. “It’s a small space, only 450 square feet, but an opportunity to reach a larger audience.”

The Barn itself is an echo of the tobacco barns that once sat on the Fritz farm. Kentucky gardening and design guru Jon Carloftis, who helped design the look of the Summit’s grounds, also introduced the Bayer design team to Old World Timber, a local barn wood preservationist in Lexington, who will outfit all of the furniture with reclaimed and refurbished wood for the interior of the food hall as well as an attached courtyard that will have music and seasonal programming.

“We intentionally took a very disciplined approach when curating The Barn and decided to source all local restaurateurs so that we could honor Lexington’s culinary scene within The Summit at Fritz Farm,” said Lindsay Bayer Shipp, retail brand strategist for Bayer Properties,in a statement. “We are committed to supporting local businesses and The Barn will add to Lexington’s growing stature as a foodie destination.”