Restaurant News & Reviews

‘Big things brewing’ for former Mexican restaurant near Jeff Ruby’s. See what’s planned.

Ribbon cutting for new Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse in Lexington

People gather for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse at City Center.
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People gather for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse at City Center.

Downtown Lexington will be getting a bit beerier: Ethereal Brewing is bringing a microbrewery to Vine Street.

The brewery, which is located on the Pepper Distillery campus on Manchester, revealed on Facebook this week that there was some “big things brewing,” with a photo of a building at the corner of Limestone and Vine that has been a Mexican restaurant.

In an interview, co-owner Andrew Bishop said that he and Brandon Floan, along with silent partner John Bishop, just purchased the building and confirmed they are planning “an extension of Ethereal down that way.”

The brewery will remain on Manchester, he said. “but we want to stay open to what’s going on around us, see where we can grow and where we can’t.”

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He said they looked at Lynagh’s, the campus-area burger and beer joint on Woodland Avenue, a few years ago but it wasn’t the right opportunity.

“I take Vine home every day, and I would find myself at that light, and I looked at the for-sale sign and decided to call,” Bishop said.

This time, with the opening of Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, the City Center office tower and the coming of two hotels across the street, the opportunity felt right. Parking will be available at the underground parking garage and the area will soon be walkable again as construction wraps up.

The location will have a microbrewery but won’t be brewing much beer on site, he said.

“I guess we would describe it as a pub. We are still finalizing that aspect,” Bishop said. “We will have Ethereal beer on taps, obviously. But others as well. We plan on having 10 to 12 taps. But we’re also looking to bring on someone ... who would curate a craft cocktail list.”

They plan on having a full service bar with “high-end cocktails at a moderate price,” he said. And because there is already a kitchen in place, they plan on having some food.

“At least in our minds it will be craft beer bar first, craft cocktail bar second, with food tertiary,” Bishop said. “We’re not looking to compete with a full-service restaurant but we plan on being open for lunch and dinner, with smaller plates.”

He said they are still working on a menu but want to price it about $10 to $12, with bar food and tapas-type offerings.

They also are still working on a name. “Ethereal Brewing will be part of the name,” he said. But the rest is still up in the air.

Bishop said they hope to open in the fall, which he said seems doable for a building that won’t need many changes even though it dates to 1790.

“We want to preserve history while bringing it up to date, with an Ethereal spin on it,” Bishop said.

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