New and Noteworthy July 2018

Jen Roylz


New In Town: 

Bravo’s Top Chef is Coming to Kentucky

Since the announcement that this year’s new season of Top Chef is to be set in the bluegrass, the blogosphere has been abuzz with one question: “Why Kentucky?”

Internationally acclaimed for horse racing, basketball and bourbon, the reality TV show’s newest location conjured up questions and curiosity amongst the show’s faithful devotees. The truth is, Kentucky’s bustling foodie scene has been on the rise over the past 15 years. From rich historical dishes such as burgoo and hot browns to trendy and contemporary eats, Kentucky cuisine has easily been one of the country’s best kept secrets... that is, until now.

“One thing that’s interesting about Kentucky,” according to Chef Edward Lee, Louisville local, Top Chef season 9 competitor, and one of this season’s guest judges, “is that [it] is not a place, from a food standpoint, that has one culture. I think in the deep south you have places that are one culture, but Kentucky has midwestern culture, Appalachian culture, southern culture... it’s very diverse within the region.”

With so much to offer, proud Kentucky natives are excited to show off their home state to the rest of the world. In this upcoming and highly anticipated season, you can expect to see the absolute finest that this state has to offer in the realm of cuisine, bourbon, agriculture and, of course, stunning views of horse country.

Like all former seasons set in foodie cities, tourism is expected to spike after the show’s initial air date later this year. Kentucky Tourism recently accounced their Kentucky State Park Culinary Trail, designed to offer guests the opportunity to see the best of our state while enjoying specialty regional meals, like mutton barbecue or spoonbread.

Kentucky is eager to extend its unique brand of southern hospitality to Top Chef and all the tourists coming to experience the Bluegrass State for the first time!


James C Boutique is a store with a story

Carrie Burkett’s father had a dream that she would one day be a successful business owner. When he became sick, he decided to write Carrie a detailed business plan. He told Carrie that if she followed plan exactly, she would succeed. Shortly after, Carrie’s father James passed away.

A few months later, Carrie, who worked at Figleaf for years, received a call from the owner on her father’s birthday. The owner was ready to close up shop, leaving Carrie with the option of taking over the lease for her future store. Carrie took at as a sign from her late father and named the store after him. She revamped the store, bought new and exciting inventory and painted the walls a soft pink.

James C Boutique opened last month, joining the ever expanding Chevy Chase shopping district. James C Boutiques sells contemporary women’s clothing and accessories. The price point is extremely reasonable, ranging from $5 to $100.. Carrie welcomes women of all ages into the store, as there is something fun for every woman.


Walker’s of Lexington opening in former Wines on Vine spot

With a revamped space and a brand new menu, Larry Dean is opening a new restaurant, Walker’s of Lexington! The new eatery is located in the former Wines on Vine location on Old Vine.

Having years of experience in this neighborhood, Dean hopes to draw customers in with the restaurant’s friendly atmosphere. From brunch to dinner, there’s food for everyone at an affordable price.

Oh, and did we mention there’s a full bar? The bar includes a great wine list and fantastic craft beer selection!

Walker’s is set to bring customers back downtown for great food and some fun.



Enjoying a drink is an ephemeral experience–your beer is here one minute, then gone the next. One company aims to make that experience last a lifetime. TagaBrew is a copper memory tag you collect as you bar hop! They host fun events to make collecting tags completely unforgettable.

For the latest events, find TagaBrew on social media: TagaBrewKY


The Barbasol Championship is coming this month

Swing into summer! About 20 minutes outside of town, Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville will be hosting the Barbasol Championship this July.

This tournament will be Lexington’s first PGA tour since the Bank One Classic in 1997. Golfers will compete on the Arthur Hills designed Champions course for a purse of $3.5 million, and 300 FedExCup points will be awarded to the champion.

Hosted by the Bluegrass Sports Commission and operated by bd Global, the Barbasol Championship will likely prove to be an exciting and successful event for Kentucky.

“From this day forward,” says Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, “the PGA TOUR can join us in saying: ‘We are Kentucky!’"

New location:

GCH Insurance relocated to Winchester Road

GCH Insurance Group is the largest locally-owned independent insurance agency in Central Kentucky. The owners are Russell Griffith, John Hampton, David Henry, Jim McCarty and Shelley Gaffney. They have recently moved into their new building located at 780 Winchester Road, the former site of Auto Tech Service. Conference rooms, offices and cubicles have replaced the multi-car garage space that housed lifts and oil pits. There are new energy efficient windows that are blurred from the outside to preserve privacy. A sliding barn door conceals the building’s mechanical systems. Tasteful equine art is hung on the walls. They market personal, commercial property and casualty, farm and equine, life and group health insurance products. Their emphasis is: “Quality Advice, Quality Benefits, Competitive Rates”.


Malibu Jack’s is bigger than ever on Nicholasville Road!

The indoor family amusement park Malibu Jack’s has now relocated to Nicholasville road, just in time for summer!

Malibu Jack’s has attractions including go karts, laser tag, mini golf, arcade games and more. With such a wide variety of games and attractions, this park has something for everyone. Malibu Jack’s is great for family outings, birthday parties, or just hanging out with friends.

The timing of their opening is perfect for those looking for something to do on long summer days. Their unique indoor facility makes it perfect for any time of the year, rain or shine.

Now with a brand new location, Malibu Jack’s wants to take it up a notch. With 120,000 square feet of indoor space, they have decided to introduce new attractions that were not found at any previous locations! Get ready for brand new bowling lanes, restaurants, an indoor rollercoaster and much more. Although some of these new additions may not be available yet, the new location will proceed to operate with their normal hours. The new location is expected to bring more guests and more fun!

New Name:

The Audrey Grevious Center helps local students succeed

On June 11th, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray officially renamed the former Lexington Day Treatment Center to the Audrey Grevious Center, in celebration of an incredible woman who served as one of Lexington’s leaders in the civil rights movement.

“Audrey Grevious was an inspiring woman,” Gray stated. She was a former teacher and principal of Kentucky Village Reformatory and served as the president of the Lexington NAACP chapter, organizing numerous protests and sit-ins in the 1960s. Mrs. Grevious even became a leader of the Civil Rights movement and now a member of the Civil Rights Hall of Fame. She passed away in January 2017.

The Audrey Grevious Center helps students get their academic careers back on track by offering smaller classes and support through counselors and social workers. The new logo features a torch, traditionally an emblem of enlightenment and hope. The school’s new colors are violet and gray. The current plan is to call the school mascot “Champion”.   

Many people have been advocating for changing the name of the Day Treatment Center, including Council Member Peggy Henson. Henson said, “I am very grateful to the family of Audrey Grevious for allowing Day Treatment to be renamed in her honor. Mrs. Grevious was a lady who spent her life helping young people to achieve success, when the odds were against them.”


Malone’s is Celerating 20 Years of Great Food and Excellent Service

It’s hard to believe that one of Lexington’s favorite spots for business lunches, romantic dinners and gatherings of all kinds is two decades old.

Bluegrass Hospitality Group was launched in 1998 by Brian McCarty and Bruce Drake. The two had a rich background in the restaurant industry, but wanted to create something that put over-the-top hospitality at the forefront. Founded 20 years ago, Malone’s on Lansdowne was their flagship eatery, and it has been a staple of the neighborhood and Lexington community ever since.

Cheers to BHG, and happy 20th birthday to Malone’s! Learn more:

Check presentation:

Breaking the Bronze Ceiling

Mayor Jim Gray presented a $100,000 check to Breaking the Bronze Ceiling to recognize the contribution woman have made to our city.

The committee wants to honor the woman that have left their mark on Lexington’s history. Their goal is to build a monument of a woman to go in downtown Lexington in 2020 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

Breaking the Bronze Ceiling strives to fundraise and raise awareness so that children can understand the message they are trying to portray.

Want to learn more about Breaking the Bronze Ceiling? Find them on Facebook.


Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships are back

Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships director Brooks Lundy can’t help but feel a sense of pride when she catches John Isner playing in a major tennis tournament on TV.

“It warms your heart knowing you played a part, even if it’s a small one, in getting him there,” says Lundy of the No. 10 men’s player in the world.

It was in 2007, fresh after finishing college at the University of Georgia, that Isner came to Lexington to play in the men’s division. Having just recently turned pro, he played the Challenger-level tournament, one of his first, and beat five top-300 players to win the singles title.

Somehow, circumstances worked out so that Lundy was then able to attend the former Legg Mason Tennis Classic in D.C. the following week, to which he’d received a last-minute wildcard. There, she sat with his parents and grandparents, as he rolled through the draw, only losing in the finals when he came up against Andy Roddick.

It’s a great memory for Lundy, who has been director of the Lexington tournament since 2000 after it was started by former University of Kentucky men’s head tennis coach Dennis Emery. Lundy had gotten involved as a volunteer in 1997, driving players to and from their housing to UK’s Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center.

The Lexington tournament, which is held each year in late July/early August and includes both men’s and women’s divisions, is well-known among players for its hospitality. It is one of the few professional tournaments where players stay with local families, a welcome break from the grueling grind and expense of hotel stays. It’s also known for helping to launch the careers of future stars in addition to Isner, such as Sloane Stephens, Frances Tiafoe, Melanie Oudin and many others.

One of the most challenging things about the tournament has been the rising costs of hosting it each July. “Although a middle tier event tournament, we have many of the financial obligations of a larger pro tournament,” she says. “But somehow our community comes together to make it happen. When our previous sponsor dropped out, Kentucky Bank stepped in and made all the difference in making sure the tournament continued.”

The community also steps up to volunteer by not only housing players but also driving and feeding players. In return they get see some terrific, high-level tennis in a much more intimate atmosphere than, say, the Cincinnati Masters. “With the exception of maybe the top seeds, you can see many of the same players in Lexington at a reduced rate,” says Lundy.

The tournament has the distinction as a trendsetter among Challenger events, being the first one to have its own website, live scoring and live streaming. “Granted, during our first few years of ‘live scoring,’ someone would call my husband at home with updates and he’d post them on the website every 10 minutes,” she says, smiling at the recollection. Now adays, an entire production company descends on site.

Though her days during the nine-day tournament, including qualifying rounds, tend to run from 7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., the atmosphere keeps her energized. So does the hope that as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, they will be able to continue to give back to the community.

“Lexington is very lucky to have this high caliber international pro event annually. The opportunity for the players and especially the return our community receives is a treasure. We are able to introduce tennis to over 400 new young players each year as well as give back to a number of charities that assist and promote healthy living annually to central Kentucky. I feel very fortunate to be part of such a great organization,” says Lundy.