Restaurant News & Reviews

Yes, this downtown dining cornerstone is turning over. Again.

A restaurant that opened in downtown Lexington to revive an old favorite has closed for good.

The Ruddy Duck Grille, which opened in the former Cheapside spot at the corner of Short and Cheapside, closed two months ago.

Restaurant owner Keith Clark, who was one of the original owners of Cheapside about 34 years ago, hoped to get the new concept to fly, but he said that he never really got the kind of traction he needed.

Clark, who also owns The Grey Goose and The Blue Heron on Jefferson Street, said he thinks the dynamics of downtown dining have changed, with many office workers now in the suburbs. The construction at Lexington Convention Center also has reduced convention attendance at the moment, which also reduces potential downtown diners.

“I don’t want to sound negative but there were just somethings I couldn’t over come,” Clark said. “I just couldn’t get the job done.”

David Doucoumes, who was once Clark’s partner in Cheapside, still owns the building. He said that a new tenant is coming in with another restaurant.

The restaurant and bar at the corner of Cheapside and Short Street is changing again. The Ruddy Duck has closed. Coming soon: The Horse and Jockey, an Irish gastropub. Alex Slitz

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Paul Murphy and Jimmy McSweeney are planning to open an Irish bar and restaurant called The Horse and Jockey.

“That’s actually a famous bar in Ireland,” Murphy said. So their gastropub will blend Irish and equine themes.

Murphy said they plan to serve traditional dishes and twists on Irish fare. McSweeney owns Crompton Ale House in New York, Murphy said.

They are hoping to open in January after renovating the Cheapside space, he said.

ruddy duck inside
The former Cheapside Bar and Grill when it was reopened as The Ruddy Duck under original owner Keith Clark, who also owns The Blue Heron and The Grey Goose, both on Jefferson Street. Janet Patton
Janet Patton covers restaurants, bars, food and bourbon for the Herald-Leader. She is an award-winning business reporter who also has covered agriculture, gambling, horses and hemp.
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