LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) – Despite the pandemic, more and more restaurants are popping up on the bluegrass, suggesting that an upturn may be underway.
Spotz Gelato started in 2013 with a food truck. Now they have multiple food trucks and a variety of locations.
Owner Beth Richardson says the pandemic didn’t get in their way.
“During the pandemic, we didn’t close when a lot of restaurants initially closed. We already had an app and were already working with delivery services. So we could just keep going,” said Richardson.
Spotz opened a new store in Shelbyville as COVID-19 raged across the bluegrass. Your customers supported you.
“They bought gift cards, kept coming in, doing business, and that really kept us going,” said Richardson.
Richardson says their support helped them open another Spotz in Midway last April.
“Our sales are near pre-pandemic and people are coming in, they are staying,” said Richardson.
According to Stacy Roof of the Kentucky Restaurant Association, many restaurants haven’t weathered the turbulence of 2020, but many are still opening and expanding.
“I definitely think restaurants are on the rise,” said Stacy.
It didn’t have an exact number but says consumer demand is there.
“There’s a demand. So they want to find out how to accommodate their guests. That’s hospitality, so I’m not surprised that places are opening up. I know Kentucky is a healthy market. I think we will continue to do so see.” Places that do, “Roof said.
Buzzed Bull Creamery opens this summer at the Summit near Blue Sushi. The owners are from Eastern Kentucky and have lived in Lexington for 20 years.
“Buzzbull Creamery is about much more than a great, juicy dessert. It’s also about the experience you get when you watch your ice cream go from a liquid base to a solid for using our liquid nitrogen technology all, “said owner Noah Kendrick.
There are only about 5 Buzzed Bull stores in the United States
Porterhouse BBQ, formerly a food truck, is now opening a restaurant near the Greyline station.
“I’ve run my BBQ food truck for the past 5 years. I’ve been cooking BBQ for over 20 years and I’m self-taught. I started cooking only for friends and family. Then I started making whole pigs and more than that my wife’s family get together and that has led me to competitive barbecuing for a couple of years, “said owner Tadd Porter. “I then started driving my food truck for 5 years and now I’m moving to my stationary restaurant at Greyline Station. I try to keep my grill simple and cook everything fresh every day and can’t wait to see it to get.” The restaurant is open. I’ll have a couple of tables in my restaurant and a back patio with a couple more tables outside. “
Then there will be a largely human-funded Creole restaurant in downtown Lexington in August.
“The community really showed up to us. We raised $ 30,000 in 21 days, which was very humbling and exciting. So I feel like we have the support of the community, especially downtown, and we are ready to make our dream come true. ” Reality, “said Kelly Mackey, one of the owners and executive chefs of Lady Remoulade.
Mackey understands that opening a brand new restaurant is still a risk without knowing what the future holds, but Lexington is ready and their team has the experience required.
“What calms me down is just that, you know, because we really are a cooking collective that owns the concept and the business. We have, you know, I think we all know we’re almost 50 years old. We know that this is a good concept, “said Mackey. “They know people love Cajun Creole and French food. Even if for some people this is not the best time to do it. We are ready to get back in the game and I think people are ready when to come out it’s starting to get safer. “
Lady Remoulade is slated to open in downtown Lexington in August. In the meantime, they are planning to take over kitchens in several restaurants from the end of May.