Restaurant News & Reviews

Not many bars turn 85 ... or let horses in. Chevy Chase Inn celebrates, Saturday.

An old stain glass sign at the Chevy Chase Inn on Euclid Ave. in Lexington, which is celebrating 85 years in business with a party on Saturday.
An old stain glass sign at the Chevy Chase Inn on Euclid Ave. in Lexington, which is celebrating 85 years in business with a party on Saturday. Herald-Leader

The Chevy Chase Inn in Lexington may be one of the few bars anywhere that can say this: It’s turning 85.

Over the last 85 years, the bar has seen many incredible things and the one that gets asked about over and over is: Did a horse really come into the bar?

The answer (there is photographic proof hanging on the wall) is yes.

And here’s how it happened in 2005, according to Kevin Heathcoat, one of the bar’s current owners:

“The gentleman in this picture is Roy Coffee. He is the one who brought his horse(s) into the bar every Fourth of July for many years after they finished riding in the parade. The story goes that Roy yelled from outside to the bartender to bring him a beer and the bartender said ‘you have to come inside if you want a beer. I don’t deliver!’,” Heathcoat said. “Just like that, a tradition was born.”

cci Horse in bar.jpeg
In 2005, according to Chevy Chase Inn bar owner Kevin Heathcoat, customer Roy Coffee rode his horse in the Lexington Fourth of July parade. And then made a pitstop at CCI. Chevy Chase Inn

The horse made many appearances and apparently was a favorite with perennial customers, too.

Now Lexington’s oldest bar is celebrating. On Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. co-owners Bill Farmer Jr., Will Pieratt and Heathcoat, who bought the place in 2015, will host a party on Euclid Avenue with lots to reminisce about.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Russell “Red Eye” Salyer will be serving up the famous Bloody Marys he’s been making for more than 35 years for $1.50. Roger Bondurant will be on the stage that has been his weekend home since 1982, Heathcoat said, beginning at 7 p.m. John Daniel Herrington and Cliff Fields will follow him and play until 2 a.m.

And, because CCI is famous for its pickled eggs, there will be a pickled egg eating contest on Saturday afternoon. Participate if you dare.

A replica of the original neon sign for the Chevy Chase Inn was installed. New owners Kevin Heathcoat, Will Pieratt of Bourbon and Toulouse and jewelry store owner Bill Farmer Jr. along with Kickstarter help had Ruggles recreate and install the si

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