By Grace Taylor
Summer has officially arrived in the bluegrass. With heat waves that reach scorching temperatures, it may be easy to want to chill at home. Keep reading to check out some of our favorite hangout spots in Downtown Lexington that get you out of the house and support local businesses.
Greyline Station used to be home to bus and transit companies, but in 2011 it was deemed historically significant and converted into a public marketplace, which houses Lexington’s newest places to eat, shop and drink locally. Be sure to check out the local vendors in Julietta Market, grab a donut from North Lime Coffee and Donuts, and cool off with ice cream from Chui’s Ice Cream and Soda Pop Shop. Greyline is the one-stop shop for a weekend evening out on the town!
21c Museum Hotel
Do you love art, dining and drink? Check out 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Lexington. From the moment you walk up to the moment you leave, you’ll be surrounded by art. Their current exhibitions look enthralling (Robert Morgan: Myths and Stories and Hide and Seek: Projecting, Portraying and playing with Identity). Check in to the hotel and check out the art! Enjoying the arts can certainly be draining, so don’t forget to try out Lockbox, a restaurant and lounge dedicated to using local, high-quality seasonal ingredients.
Movies, Bowling, arcades and drinks. There’s something for everyone at LexLive! Catch a movie on the largest screen in Kentucky (I’m planning on watching Thor: Love and Thunder), then head on over to grab a drink at the Corner Bar. Challenge your friends to a game in the arcade – they offer over 50 games, and you can redeem points at the counter for prizes that are fun for people of all ages. Gaming not for you? Don’t fret, the bowling alleys are pretty fun too. They have 13 bowling lanes and hosts can bring food and drinks right to your lane!
Central Bank Thursday Night Live
I may be biased, but my all time favorite summer hangout is Central Bank Thursday Night Live. Drinks, food and live music, need I say more? I look forward to Thursday nights every week because I know – rain or shine – CBTNL is always a good time. Check out the band lineup here.
Whether you’re in the Distillery District or downtown, Ethereal Brewing has you covered with all your favorite handcrafted microbrews. They love brewing Belgian farmhouse and American craft beers. Not only are their beers delicious and unique, but also it’s a perfect way to support local businesses with all their beers crafted and brewed in the heart of Kentucky.
When it comes to drinking, Kentucky is always associated with delicious, smooth bourbon. That’s why, if you want to have a true Kentucky summer, I recommend checking out Kentucky’s favorite bourbon bar – The Bluegrass Tavern. If you don’t know much about Bourbon, then ask your bartender, they’ll help you find the perfect bourbon for your palette!
Pizza slices bigger than your face, need I say more? With locations in both downtown and the Distillery District, Goodfellas is one of the best pizza places to satisfy your red sauce, cheese and bread cravings. If you’re there around lunchtime, their lunch special is the best deal in town! My personal favorite pizza is the margarita pizza (whole tomato slices and fresh basil – yum!) As an added bonus, if you stop by the Distillery District location you can sit on the patio outside or grab your pizza and take it to Ethereal Brewing’s patio next door.
School Sushi offers modern tapas-style sushi. They use traditional Japanese ingredients incorporating international flavors and inspiration. For a more timid sushi eater, they have a variety of California rolls. For a more adventurous sushi eater, check out their menu here and see which roll you want to try!
Foodtruck Fridays in Triangle Park
From now until September 30, head down to Triangle Park every Friday to check out some local food trucks. Grab lunch between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm and enjoy the scenic lunch spot – a definite improvement from eating at your desk! Check out more info here.
Don’t forget that DowntownLEX Together presented by Central Bank is happening now through July 31. This is your chance to win big by supporting local downtown businesses! Supporting businesses like the ones in this blog could be your ticket to weekly $50 gift cards to local businesses and a grand prize of $500 cash! Check out all of the participating businesses here. All you have to do is text “downtown” to (859) 423-3900 to register and send a copy of your receipt when prompted.