By now, you’ve either visited or heard buzz about The Summit at Fritz Farm. Developed by Bayer Properties out of Birmingham, Alabama, the property’s goal was to reinvent the worn-out shopping mall concept and create an all-inclusive “city within a city”. And judging by the nightly crowds on the lawn in front of Steel City Pops and the kids playing cornhole while their parents watch the game on Whole Foods’ outdoor terrace, it seems like Lexington has embraced the concept.
One of the most new and noteworthy aspects of the property is The Barn—a chic, artisan food hall showcasing Lexington’s culinary superstars. Food halls have been popping up in cities across the country—the Bourdain Market in Manhattan and Pine Street Market in Portland, Oregon, for example. But The Barn is the first of its kind in Kentucky. It opened in September, and since then has drawn curious crowds of foodies, tourists, and locals alike.
The Barn’s interior can best be described as “farm chic” decor: rusty steel chandeliers, countryside landscapes and equine art and various reclaimed materials that have been used as design elements. Bayer Properties’ inspiration for The Barn came from the fact that several tobacco barns were on the property when it was purchased from the Fritz family. They preserved the wood, some of which dated back to the Revolutionary War, and used it to recreate an oversized barn that would honor the Fritz family and the property on which it stood.
Kentucky Reclaimed Wood supplied the wood for the outside of the barn, while Old World Timber provided wood for the inside as well as the family-style tables and benches. Lisa Bridges of Kentucky Reclaimed Wood said, “We source all of our wood from across Kentucky, and we knew that it was important for the vision of The Barn to deal with a lot of local projects and stories, so we mostly used wood that has a story behind it.” Old World Timber sources locally as well, but they have some national and international sources as well, such as the sapele wood from Africa and the slab tables, which came from the Coney Island Boardwalk that was torn down during Hurricane Sandy.
The all-local, all-independent lineup of restaurateurs each have their own “stalls” in The Barn, and customers can walk up and order food and drink from various stalls and enjoy it at one of the communal tables or anywhere on The Summit property. It’s a celebration of Lexington’s local food purveyors and unique culture.