Several changes are taking place in the Lexington restaurant scene, including Seattle-based MOD Pizza coming to the Hamburg area this summer.
The latest entrant in the fast-casual, extra-hot oven, cooked-in-minutes pizza category, MOD Pizza will be at Winchester Road and Sir Barton Way in the former Calistoga Artisan Sandwiches building that has been empty since 2011.
MOD Pizza franchisee Garyen Denning said the building will be remodeled into a restaurant and a financial institution.
This will be the first of perhaps three MOD Pizzas in Lexington, he said. Another is opening in Louisville in June, with three in Cincinnati and one in Dayton.
MOD offers pizza made with up to 30 toppings for one price, baking in an 800-degree oven in three minutes. The restaurants also have hand-spun milkshakes, house-made lemonades and iced teas, and local craft beers and wine, according to the company.
Denning also has several Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurants in Lexington and will be opening another on Cherry Blossom Way in Georgetown in the fall. For 2015, they generated $100,000 in donations to nonprofits, including Habitat for Humanity, the American Cancer Society and USA Cares, he said.
“We’ve set a company goal to do double that this year,” Denning said.
Another fast-casual pizza restaurant, Uncle Maddio’s will open this month across from the Euclid Avenue Kroger. Uncle Maddio’s offers a variety of crusts, sauces, meats and toppings, baked fast, for less than $8.
Billy White, who owns the Lexington franchise of the Atlanta-based chain, plans to open three restaurants in Lexington. He also owns 11 Jimmy John’s restaurants in the area.
White said the restaurant at Euclid and Marquis avenues will seat 75 to 100, and has garage-style doors that can open in warm weather. Uncle Maddio’s also will serve local craft beer and wine, and will have a walk-up window to serve slices of New York-style pizza.
On another restaurant front, the Saddle Ridge dance club off Broadway is being remodeled into two venues: District Sport & Tap, a sports bar, and Barrel Room Saloon, a live-music venue.
Manager Bryan Haddock said District Sport & Tap will open in March with about 100 seats, and serve craft beer, appetizers, sandwiches and burgers. It will have industrial-style décor with a small stage and a patio.
The Barrel Room Saloon, which will open later in the year, will have a patio as well, and rooms for private parties, said owner David Kelley. He said the venue also would serve food.