HopCat, 410 West Short Street, will celebrate eight years in business on Jan. 23 with special beer releases and free orders of its famous Crack Fries until 5 p.m. to everyone who visits. A Crack Fries-eating contest at 1 p.m. Saturday will culminate with the winners from each HopCat competing in the first-ever Crack Fries-eating championship at the Michigan Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti. That champion will receive a $2,000 cash prize and free Crack Fries throughout their year as champion at any HopCat. At each restaurant, second-place finishers will receive a $100 gift card, and third-place finishers receive a $25 gift card.
It’s $5 to enter the contest, with all proceeds going to the Kentucky Equine Humane Center. HopCat will provide a 100 percent match of all entry fees as a donation.
Special beer releases in Lexington will be: Country Boy’s PaPaw’sPaw Paw’s Red; Rivertown’s Death; Ei8ht Ball’s Dalton’s Juice; Blue Stallion’s Sawney Bean; West Sixth’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Cocoa Porter with Chilies, Burly Barleywine, and Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale; Alltech’s 3-year-old Bourbon Barrel Stout; Falls City’s Red Wine Barrel Aged Berliner Weisse; Against The Grain’s 2015 Bay and Pepper Your Bretts; and Rooster Brew’s The Vandergrift Generator.
▪ Athenian Grill, 115 North Locust Hill Drive, will offer special family-style meals Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For $29.75 a person, you get to choose from a multi-course sampling menu filled with appetizers, entrees and dessert. Available for lunch and dinner. A dinner wine option, with wine pairings from Santorini, Crete and Central Greece, is $39.75 a person. Call 859-368-9725 for more information.
▪ Tabelog, a foodie blog site, has named Coba Cocina, 2041 Richmond Road, the second-most beautiful restaurant in America, highlighting the two-story jellyfish tank, hand-blown Italian glass chandeliers, Mayan-inspired ironwork, blue lighting and accent tiles. Other restaurants making the list were Republique in Los Angeles (No. 1); Dushanbe Teahouse in Boulder, Colo.; Grace in Portland, Maine; Chicago’s Pump Room; Aria in Atlanta; Coya in Miami; Provision No. 14 in Washington; 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church, Va.; and Javier’s in Las Vegas.
▪ Waveland State Historic Site, 225 Waveland Museum Lane, is kicking off the 2016 Tea Tuesday with a special Valentine’s high tea and low tea on Feb. 16. Low tea is served at 1 p.m. and high tea is at 6:30 p.m. All teas include savory food, and tea will be served by period-dressed interpreters. Reservations are required. Call 859-272-3611.
▪ Did you miss out on the vegan seafood beer dinner this week at Smithtown Seafood, 501 West Sixth Street? The good news is there will be another vegan event May 19, during Lexington Craft Beer Week. Tickets will go on sale soon. Go to Smithtownseafood.com for details.
▪ Tickets are on sale for the Lexington Humane Society’s Tales & Ales, 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at Griffin Gate Marriot Resort & Spa, 1800 Newtown Pike. Tickets are $55 a person; you must be 21. Get tickets online at LexingtonHumaneSociety.org. Sample from more than 50 beers from local and regional breweries, Leinenkugel, Great Lakes, and many more. Kenny Owens & Group Therapy will perform; there will be a silent auction, a raffle for a wheelbarrow full of beer and goodies, and the LHS gift shop to benefit the animals. Light snacks and wine will be provided. Stay tuned to AdoptLove.net for up-to-date listings of beer/wine vendors. Attire is business casual.
▪ City Barbeque’s new City Rewards loyalty app will give anyone who signs up for the app a free drink, a free piece of triple chocolate cake on their second visit, and an extra $5 bonus on their third visit when they use the app. Members who had points or rewards in the old program will keep their balances in the new program; all members on record through March 31, 2016, will be entered into a drawing to win free barbecue for a year, valued at $250.
If you don’t have a smartphone, you can sign up for the loyalty program using your home phone number as a way to look up your account at the cash register. Complete program information and details on signing up is at Citybbq.com/rewards.