A new, expanded Whole Foods Market opens on Friday at The Summit at Fritz Farm with some distinctly Kentucky flavors.
From the coffee and juice bar at the front of the store, where you can get bourbon-barrel-aged sweet tea, to the hot bar serving Weisenberger Mill grits cakes, the Whole Foods emphasizes local foods.
The 40,000-square-foot store at the corner of Man o’War and Nicholasville Road replaces a 24,000-square-foot location in Lexington Green.
The spot in Lexington Green has been leased to a new tenant, said Scott Davidson, director of operations for Langley Properties, but he could not reveal who the new tenant will be.
The new Whole Foods has an expanded range of products and particularly local items, including fresh fruits and vegetables from Fleming County Organics and Food Route, plants from Wilson Nursery, meats from Marksbury Farm and Jim Mansfield, and hemp foods, including pastas, from Victory Hemp, grown in Central Kentucky, said spokeswoman Lindsay Bruner.
The store also has a dry-aging case, something new to the market, as well as fresh pasta sold by the sheet, which can be cut into your desired shape before your eyes, she said.
Another only-in-Lexington item: bread made with spent grains from Barrel House Distilling. Bread maker Ryan Alabaugh said the stores normally use spent brewery grains to make a locally flavored sourdough bread but the bourbon mash was too acidic for the sourdough starter. So they switched to an added-yeast bread, which has a nutty flavorful taste.
The new Whole Foods wants to be more than just a store, Bruner said. It aims to give the community a gathering place for casual dining, for meetings and for just hanging out, with seating in The Barn Door Tap Room and outside on a covered patio.
The pub, which has 32 taps for craft beer and cider, also has a pub menu that will include a daily mac and cheese option, salads and sandwiches, and more. On weekends, a brunch menu will feature savory “Dutch baby” pancakes made in cast-iron skillets, said culinary coordinator Alan Morgan. Besides a bourbon-peach Dutch baby, they will have a hot brown Dutch baby to try.
If the pub menu doesn’t tempt you, Whole Foods has a much bigger selection of hot and cold ready-to-eat items, including a barbecue bar where you can select your smoked meat and add the sauce of your choice; a wood-fired pizza oven with a self-serve counter; a fried chicken and catfish bar as well as hot ethnic options including Indian, Asian, German and Italian fare; 13 soup options, including vegan and vegetarian options; and traditional salad bar items.
To wrap up the dining choices, Whole Foods also will have a parfait bar, with various cake, icing and sauces; and a self-serve mochi case with ice cream dumplings in a doughy casing.
The store opens on Friday at 4059 Finn Way after an 8:45 a.m. bread-breaking ceremony. The store will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., with the coffee and juice bar opening at 7 a.m., seven days a week.