Now that warm weather has finally joined us, there’s nothing better than sitting on a breezy patio and enjoying your favorite cocktail or appetizer at one of our local restaurants. Whether it’s for brunch with your girlfriends, a business lunch, or a weekend date night, there’s just something about a patio that feels oh so right during the summer season.
What makes your patio unique?
The Paddock is our one-of-a-kind patio area thoughtfully designed to bring the Jeff Ruby experience outdoors. Two 20-foot articulated glass panels open from the spacious lounge to our beautiful patio. The ability to unite the two areas allows guests to enjoy live entertainment whether they are seated at outside tables, on couches around the fire pits, or inside next to the fully stocked, covered bar.
Multiple TVs are always tuned to the big game or concert while ten heaters keep everything cozy going into the cooler fall and winter months.
The Paddock is also a unique celebration of Lexington. The area features a three-level fountain with an imported Italian bronze horse statue flanked by seven jockey statues (smartly outfitted in Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse branded jockey pants).
We are also proud to be part of the Town Branch Park project which aims to bring the beauty of the surrounding countryside and bring park programming to the heart of downtown. As such, the patio features beautiful custom flowers and landscaping.
Plus, there is a large private VIP table called “Cal’s Corner” named for the man himself, Coach John Calipari.
In addition to The Paddock, a private patio sits adjacent to the Breeder’s Room, providing the ideal space to enjoy cigars and after-dinner drinks when utilizing the beautiful private dining room.
Reservations are accepted but not required making The Paddock a go-to stop on your tour of downtown patios.
What’s the atmosphere at Jeff Ruby’s?
We are a fine dining steakhouse specializing in USDA Prime Steaks, Seafood & Sushi, impeccable service, and live entertainment. The vibe is a blend of Art Deco decadence and unmistakable Kentucky cool. The vibe also lends itself to pure showtime, from the flambéing tableside to the impeccably over-the-top service to the dreamy menu, this is the place you go when you want a truly memorable experience.
Let’s talk about food. What are some of your seasonal favorites?
For patio season, it’s hard to beat the multi-tiered Seafood Tower featuring enormous Tiger Shrimp, Alaskan King Crab, multiple varieties of Raw Oysters on the Half Shell, Lobster, and more. Extensive Sushi and Raw Bar Menus round out ocean specialties perfect for al fresco dining. Pair these light bites with bubbles or a fine Kentucky Bourbon. The full menu is also available in The Paddock, so for those guests looking for the whole Jeff Ruby Experience, the Bone-in Ribeye paired with Jeff Ruby’s Barrel Aged Manhattan is a terrific summer choice.
What draws people to your patio?
There is nothing quite like Carson’s Chicken & Waffles and a round of mimosas with great friends while relaxing on our beautiful patio. With our’s being one of the only patios on Main Street, the life of the city is right next to you as you enjoy a friendly reunion or romantic evening, making patio season THE time to visit Carson’s!
Tell us a little bit about Carson’s offerings and ambiance.
We offer a variety of elevated American cuisine. With savory burgers, fresh salads, juicy steaks, and seafood, there’s a little something for everyone. Every dish we offer is sizable and flavorful, and just hits the spot.
Not to mention our marvelous selection of bourbons and ryes! Grab a drink, pull up a chair, and relax in our refined speakeasy setting.
What is the most popular dish on the menu for patio season? What drink would you pair with it?
Patio weather always brings out a hunger for ribs, and it's hard to find a better set of ribs than our “Sweet & Spicy Ribs”; Tender ribs coated in our house Sriracha Bourbon BBQ sauce with sesame seeds and jalapeño slices. Pairing this with any of our Draught Beers or our “Classic Woodford Rye Old Fashioned” is a sure way to have a great time!
What do you expect will be popular specials this summer?
We have our “Old Fashioned Happy Hour” from 3 to 6pm ($2 off Appetizers, Well Drinks, and Draughts) and our fabulous new selection of Seasonal Cocktails; including such favorites as ‘the Bourbon Smash’, ‘the Sweet & Spicy Pineapple Martini” and “the Passion Fruit Martini”. We can’t wait to see you there!
Harry’s American Bar & Grill, a Lexington staple known for its contemporary American fare and extensive drinks menu, boasts a patio that can be enjoyed year-round — with an open-air atmosphere during warm weather months and an encased glass facade for cooler months.
“Whether visiting for a leisurely lunch or dinner, winding down after work, or catching your favorite team on one of the flatscreen TVs, Lexingtonians love our patios,” the Harry’s team explained.
As a tribute to Kentucky’s rich horse racing history, it’s hard to imagine a better place to spend a perfect Lexington meal than at either of Harry’s two locations, which are also home to Aqua sushi, an infamous offering of signature cocktails and hand-picked wines. Find them in the Palomar Shopping Center or in Hamburg and be prepared for an unforgettable patio dining experience.
We might now be entering outdoor dining season, but there’s no bad time to take advantage of Drake’s patio options at its Hamburg, Nicholasville, or Lansdowne locations.
“Drake’s features a year-round patio with large garage doors that open during warm weather, creating a lively, open-air atmosphere and a fireplace to keep warm in cooler months,” the restaurant group explained. “Even if the weather isn’t cooperating, you can always enjoy the patio at Drake’s! Drake’s Hamburg and Nicholasville also offer true outdoor patio seating, if you prefer the sunshine.”
“Drake’s eclectic menu includes traditional American-style pub food, including hand-pressed burgers, steaks, mini sandwiches, Sriracha wings, build-your-own tacos, and more,” Drake’s said. “What really sets Drake’s apart, though, is its extensive sushi menu. Drake’s Aqua Sushi chefs offer sushi lovers rare flavors and perfectly-executed classics.”
So if you’re looking for comfort food and a warm-weather hangout, the patios at Drake’s should be your next dining destination.
Is the Wild Eggs patio... wild?
We have two great Lexington locations and actually, the ambiance on our patio is relaxing, warm, and welcoming. Plants and flowers surround the patio tables and large umbrellas provide shade. Our patio is full service, with the same great service and cuisine that we serve up indoors.
What is your restaurant’s objective?
Our well-trained staff consistently delivers innovative dishes that offer a fresh, contemporary approach to breakfast, brunch, and lunch. We are a family-oriented restaurant with menu items for everyone.
What are some of your most popular menu offerings?
Our most popular dish is our Kalamity Katie’s Border Benedict. Paired with a tequila sunrise made with our fresh-squeezed orange juice, it makes an unmatched breakfast experience for someone who loves to dine with flair.
Come enjoy our award-winning bloody mary or some fresh squeezed orange juice makes for the best mimosa in town! We now offer new salads and sandwiches for lunch, plus online ordering for take-out! We are also now taking online reservations and call-ahead seating.
Sedona Taphouse — which boasts one of Lexington’s most extensive beer, wine, and cocktail lists along with an elevated food menu — is the perfect place to treat yourself to an outdoor dining experience (and don’t forget, groups are welcome). With fire pits, TVs, covered areas, live music, a deal-loaded happy hour —plus great food and great drinks, of course — guests can bask in plenty of summer vibes while enjoying the Southwestern-tinged contemporary American fare.
Classic brunch staples like Nutella french toast are complemented with innovations like “Desert Fire” stuffed jalapeños. The infamous STH Burger goes perfectly with the venue’s 47 rotating beers on tap. And entrees like the bourbon pork chop are paired with dozens of cocktails and an extensive wine list. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
As a Kentucky-forward bistro that focuses on local ingredients and boasts a beautiful setting, Honeywood is the perfect place to experience all that an outdoor Lexington dining experience has to offer.
“Our patio is a lovely place to stop while shopping at the Summit at Fritz Farm,” Honeywood’s staff said. “Enjoy a full bar, including delicious craft cocktails, a lovely wine list, and local beer. We also offer snacks or you can enjoy a whole meal.”
Regardless of what you order, it will become clear just how important local, fresh ingredients are to Honeywood. The highest-quality produce finds its way into every dish and drink.
“Our staff farmer, David Wagoner, curates a small herb garden for our bar and kitchen, including bay leaves, mint, oregano, sweet Annie, chives, edible flowers, basil, thyme, and more,” said the staff.
SERVING CENTRAL KENTUCKY SINCE 1996!
Lexington’s fun, festive, casual neighborhood restaurant is open and ready to serve you! Mi Pequeña Hacienda’s patio is perfect for gathering with amigos or stopping in for a casual lunch during the workday or weekend. Known for its relaxed dining experience and great family atmosphere, the Mi Pequeña Hacienda patio at the Lansdowne Drive location offers guests more to love with ample outdoor seating to enjoy all season long! Enjoy the best in authentic Mexican food with a Baja Californian flair, freshly prepared sauces and salsas, and warm hospitality on our colorful patio. Don’t forget to visit our Brannon Crossing location for a totally different experience!
What can one expect from your patio?
Dining al fresco in our gazebo is like escaping to a European cafe, complete with charming bistro tables, beautiful plants, flowers (even a lemon tree!), and cozy corners to enjoy the weather and good conversation. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a cocktail or dinner with that signature Coles service in a more low-key, refreshing atmosphere.
We have more than doubled our covered outdoor seating with a large tent, matching the relaxed elegance of our gazebo seating.
What is the core focus for Coles?
Since Coles’ 2012 opening, the team has strived to offer warm and welcoming service, creative, chef-driven meals alongside incredible wine and bourbon lists. We aim to make every step of a meal at Coles an experience full of hospitality and Southern graciousness.
What would you recommend for al fresco dining at Coles?
Chicken Saltimbocca paired with Stoller Unoaked Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon. The chicken breast is stuffed with speck, mozzarella, and sage and served with sweet potato gnocchi, charred broccolini, and a brown butter lemon emulsion.
If you’ve never been to the patio at the Merrick Inn, you’re in for a treat. For over 40 years, this Lexington staple has been synonymous with Southern genteel dining, and there are few better places on earth to enjoy a meal.
Named for an infamous racehorse, the restaurant sits on a historic horse farm with roots that can be felt throughout the property. Dining there, this rich history is apparent, but so too is the innovation and evolution of its menu and experience.
Contemporary takes on Southern classics, like fried green tomatoes, Southern fried chicken, and pecan-crusted pork tenderloin, go perfectly with a curated bourbon menu and tantalizing list of specialty cocktails. With more than four decades of incomparable dining experiences, the Merrick Inn’s patio is a must this season.
Any day of the week, you can stop by Blue Sushi Sake Grill and enjoy a popular happy hour, partake in some sushi, imbibe in some cocktails and soak in the sun with friends (and dogs are welcome, too).
“Blue Sushi Sake Grill unites creative ingredients with energetic vibes, premium cold sake, and happy moments to give you a fresh and fun new way to experience sushi,” explained the restaurant’s team. “Our menu allows guests to explore their sushi favorites in new and unexpected ways. We like to say that sushi is for sharing, and our menu encourages it.”
When you grab a meal on the restaurant’s patio this year, you’ll be able to begin your experience with a number of Asian-inspired starters, then move on to a spread of unique sushi, nigiri, and sashimi favorites from the famous sushi bar. Altogether, it’s a recipe for the perfect outdoor dining experience.