Restaurant News & Reviews

Opening in Lexington: Big Shake’s Hot Chicken, BJ’s, J. Render’s

The hickory smoked pulled pork sandwich and potato salad from J. Render’s BBQ Southern Table & Bar, which is now opened in Beaumont.
The hickory smoked pulled pork sandwich and potato salad from J. Render’s BBQ Southern Table & Bar, which is now opened in Beaumont. Photo provided

Big Shake’s Hot Chicken, 867 South Broadway, will open soon serving hot chicken and fish, and shakes and desserts. This is scheduled to be the first of multiple Big Shake’s Hot Chicken restaurants opened in Lexington by chef Shawn Davis.

The hot chicken trend that started in Nashville has gone nationwide, with even O’Charley’s and KFC jumping on board. In Lexington, local spicy chicken restaurants Indi’s and Richie’s have been joined by Joella’s Hot Chicken and Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen.

The Big Shake’s Hot Chicken menu will include popular staples including mac and cheese and waffles, as well as fries.

▪  BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse is opening June 27 at 3297 Nicholasville Road at Fayette Mall Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. , it will serve Chicago-style pizza and award-winning craft beer, as well as sandwiches, pasta and desserts, including the signature “Pizookie,” a large cookie served hot out of the oven in a pan and topped with ice cream. Spokesman Kevin Mayer said the restaurant has an extensive array of “Enlightened” dishes of less than 795 calories, and a menu “second only to the Cheesecake Factory in size.”

▪  Popular food truck J. Render’s BBQ has opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant, with a patio and full bar, at 3191 Beaumont Centre Circle. J. Render’s BBQ Southern Table & Bar will feature smoked meat favorites plus soups and salads, sandwiches, including a cubano, and burgers. Call 859-533-9777. Happy Hour is 3 to 6 p.m. daily, and 9 p.m. to close on Friday and Saturday, with $1 off all drinks and select appetizers for $6. Half-price bottles of wine are on Wednesdays. There’s music 8 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights featuring local artists.

▪  Food trucks will be at City National Bank, 318 East Main Street, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday. J. Render’s BBQ, That’s How We Roll, Kentasty Breaktime Café and Mad Mike’s are scheduled.

▪  The Bob’s Burger’s Cook-off at Morris Book Shop, 882 East High Street, on June 12 raised more than $700 for Glean Ky. The winner, selected by the judges, was Sarah Arnett with her “Wham Jam, Thank you Ma’am” burger made with smoked gouda, sharp cheddar cheese and bacon jam, with a pickled jalapeño compound butter, served with apple slaw. Second place was Whitney Fooks with her “Jalapeño Business Burger” made with bacon, spices, jalapeños, jalapeño jam cream cheese and hot sauce.

Crowd favorites were Eric Hall with his “Nuremburger ... It’s the Wurst” burger made with spice mix, Dusseldorf-style mustard, homemade sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and beer mustard; and Craig Stewart with his “It Takes Two to Mango” burger made with Sriracha, soy sauce, garlic powder, and salsa made with mango, red pepper, green onion, cilantro, lime juice and honey.

▪  Lexington Farmers Market, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in Cheapside Park and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Southland Drive, will have fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, eggs, plants, bread, honey, spring greens and flowers.

▪  Bluegrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Azur, 3070 Lakecrest Circle, and Liquor Barn, 1837 Plaudit Place, will have strawberries, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, lettuces, beef, pork and lamb cuts, eggs, heirloom tomatoes, kale, fresh-cut flowers, onions, breads, jams and jellies, soaps, herbs, plants, green beans, barbecue sandwiches and sauces.

▪  Jessamine Growers Farmers Market, 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Main and Rice Streets in Wilmore, will have local greens, tomatoes and other vegetables, local honey and eggs, vegetable garden transplants, perennials and trees.

▪  Chevy Chase Farmers Market, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, now in front of John’s New Classic Shoes at 316 South Ashland Avenue, will have meat, eggs, fresh seasonal produce including lettuce and strawberries; soap and honey; and flowers and fresh herbs.