Even in the depths of winter, Lexington likes to eat. And dining out isn’t exactly dormant. New restaurants are coming, some opening in January and others later this year.
Here’s what’s on the horizon:
▪ Drum roll, please: The former Applebee’s in front of Southland Christian Church on Richmond Road looks as if it’s finally about to come down. A demolition permit was issued by the city. The company hasn’t said anything publicly lately, but last year, Chick-fil-A announced plans to build a new restaurant there. A building permit was issued in September.
▪ Skyline Chili is coming to Lexington. The Fort Mitchell-based Holland Restaurant Group applied last week for a permit to build a new restaurant at 2850 Richmond Road. The company hasn’t said when it might open, but you can bet there will be a line when it does.
Lexington used to have a Skyline Chili. According to the Herald-Leader archives, one opened at 275 East Euclid Avenue in April 1987. It apparently closed in the early 1990s.
Skyline Chili serves Cincinnati-style chili, either on a coney or on spaghetti. Cincinnati-style chili isn’t like Texas chili; it’s flavored with cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and other unusual spices.
“Skyline Chili is excited to bring iconic Cincinnati-style chili to the city of Lexington,” the company said in a statement. “Our successful franchisee, Holland Restaurant Group, will own and operate the location, which will feature a double-lane drive-thru and dining room fireplace. As of now, we do not have an opening date set, but we look forward to joining the Lexington community and serving our classic Coneys and Ways to new and loyal customers.”
For updates, go to Skylinechili.com.
▪ The Mill, an Arabic bakery on Southland Drive, has opened. This Mediterranean bakery has tea cookies and cakes, including dahdah, which is a semolina cinnamon cake; desserts including baklava (try the Egyptian style made with buttermilk), and house-made pita baked daily. Mini pizzas? Got them. Meat pies? Got them, too. Their motto: Try it before you buy it. So you know you’ll like what you get.
The Mill also sells Arabic coffee and tea to go with your cookies, and more options are planned. It’s a collaboration of Jordanian, Egyptian, Iranian and Palestinian bakers who produce regional specialties and more usual fare, such as flatbreads.
▪ Did you miss the Gnomes? Well, Oscar Diggs, the collaboration between Gastro Gnomes Andrew Suther and Kyle Klatka, and Ralph Quillin’s Rooster Brewing, has opened. The brewpub on North Limestone has an ever-changing menu of gourmet goodies, paired with beer from the Paris brewery.
▪ Looking for something different? Miyako Poké Bowl has opened at 867 South Broadway. The restaurant, from the same owner as Miyako Sushi and Steakhouse on Richmond Road, brings one of the biggest food trends to Lexington: poké, a kind of Hawaiian raw fish salad. Burritos and salads also are available. It’s open for lunch and dinner.
▪ Where’s Gus? Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken hit some delays but should be opening in late March now, in back of the building that houses Carson’s Fine Dining. Its address will be 333 East Vine Street, but you’ll be able to find it by following the stream of people heading in the door. Be prepared to stand in line. Owners Gus Oyler and Will Ferguson swear that it will be worth the wait for this Memphis-style fried chicken, house-made sides and homemade Southern pies, including chocolate chess.
▪ On the horizon: Sedona Taphouse is scheduled to come to Palomar this spring; Ouita Michel is set to open a restaurant in the newly renovated courthouse; and the new Marikka’s on Southland Drive is looking almost ready to open.