On Wednesday January 6 I had the pleasure of dining at the brand new Goodwood brewpub in Lexington. Before I get into the nitty-gritty, can I just tell you how promising it is for Lexington to kick off the new year with a new location of an established and reputable Kentucky Proud restaurant? Very exciting!

Quick backstory: Bennett and I are checked out the Frankfort location a couple months ago, and absolutely fell in love! Although we didn’t dine at that time, everything about the menu and the atmosphere was appealing, not to mention the abundance and variety of craft brews (and ciders!) to choose from. A team member of the future Lexington location was on hand that day, and I (half jokingly) asked if they’d consider moving into the recently vacated HopCat (answer: no). More on that later.

Fast forward to present: Lexington Green is home to the new Goodwood, in the former Mellow Mushroom end cap, in the former movie theatre. Does that paint a picture or what? Selfishly, I could not be more thrilled to see new life breathed into Lexington Green. From the time I was a young child making the weekend trek from Danville with my family, Joseph Beth, Tony Roma’s, Artique, Disc Jockey, Regatta, and Ruby Tuesday (RIP salad bars) were THE shopping and dining destinations. This location provides ample parking, and easy access for both Southsiders and weekenders, like my former childhood self.

Walking in, my knee jerk reaction was “WOW! It seems so much bigger and brighter!” The renovation is transformative. My thoughts were briefly sidelined by seeing a former Battle Axes employee of mine at the host stand (which only sweetened the experience, to be honest). The d├ęcor is reminiscent of post-Prohibition celebration, with nods to both the bourbon industry and beer production process. One giant screen hangs above the bar, with TVs scattered generously throughout. The indoor layout includes a mixture of booths and tables, all socially distant and/or separated by barriers. The former event space upstairs will eventually house private dining and a small brewery where experimental beers will be tested before going into national distribution. They have also enclosed (and heated!) a giant patio adjacent to the building, with more TVs and socially-distant tables.

Naturally, we had to start with a round of brews. A few of the more popular options were tapped out, but with an extensive list to choose from (~20) we had no trouble finding adequate substitutions. I opted for the tried and true Blackberry Gose, while B went with another favorite, the Hemp Gose. In a moment that can only be described as 'blonde,' I ordered the Brisket Totchos ($13); I hate tater tots. I know, I'm in the minority here, and that's ok. The good news is abundant: It's a HUGE portion (easily shareable between 3-4 people), topped with lots of savory brisket, absolutely smothered in yummy beer cheese queso, and sprinkled with peppers, onions, pickled jalapenos, and crema.

For our second round of brews, B tried the Hardwood Ale (mild and very palatable) and I went with another favorite, the Blueberry Cider. On to the MAINS! At the recommendation of the house, I ordered the Mac 'N Cheese Melt ($13) and added a burger to it ($5 charge). B went with the Chicken and Waffles ($16), and y'all, let me just share the drool-worthy description right here: crispy chicken, fluffy waffle, sweet chipotle honey syrup, housemade honey butter, and powdered sugar. While the melt was delicious and I would absolutely recommend that anyone as carnivorous as myself make the same modification, those chicken and waffles stole the show. Holy WOW! Every single bite delivered layers of complexity and texture, not to mention it was another huge portion. Winner winner chicken dinner, literally.

Savvy diners would be interested to know that 95% of their menu is made in-house, and the other 5% is either specifically sourced or custom-made for them. That delicious burger I had? It's a special order ground beef. The toast for my melt? Baked especially for Goodwood. The beer cheese queso on my totchos and mac? Made right there in the kitchen. Something else that caught my eye was how many vegan and vegetarian options were on the menu; I am obviously neither, but some of my friends are and/or have dietary restrictions, and they struggle when we go to restaurants (or get bored to death of salads).

Even though they just opened the doors, special menus for various occasions and holidays are already being planned; stay tuned for a prix fixe Valentines Day promo ($55 for two), plus $1 mimosas and wine specials for Mother's Day! And, most importantly for all my fellow brunchers out there, Mimosa and Bloody Mary bars are on the horizon!

When I inquired about the future of the brand, I was told they're projected to grow even more this year, both in Lexington (!) and throughout Central Kentucky. Right now there are three locations (ours plus the original taproom in Louisville and the brewpub in Frankfort), but be on the lookout for another brewpub/taproom in our own backyard, and additional retail exposure. And a couple more whiskeys coming to market in the spring, but that's a whole different animal.

This is a "don't miss" spot, folks. Great for a couple mimosas after a successful Saturday morning Target run, dinner and drinks, or posting up for the UK game!