Businesses come and go, but many leave a stamp on our hearts, and in this case, our stomachs. Last month, we asked you to share businesses from years past that you missed. Today, we’re sharing one of those answers — The Coach House.
Fun fact: There were so many to pick from, that we’ll have to feature more in another issue.
We have legendary restaurateur Stanley Demos to thank for bringing the white tablecloth, fine-dining experience to Lexington. Prior to coming to the Bluegrass State in 1964, Stanley worked his way through the dining scene in Cincinnati + went on to become the maitre d’hotel at The Maisonette.
Stanley wanted to bring that same experience to Lexington, and in 1969 opened The Coach House at 855 S. Broadway on land owned by The Red Mile. The building was originally a home, but converted to a restaurant with a portico for coaches to pull under — hence the name, The Coach House.
The fine-dining establishment featured French, Italian, and Greek cuisines with an atmosphere that felt more like an exclusive club — fresh flowers, gold-framed oil paintings, and ornate crystal chandeliers.
- 1988 | The Coach House is sold to Stanley’s daughter + son-in-law, Tootsie + Sam Nelson.
- 1991 | The restaurant was inducted into the National Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame.
- 1992 | Stanley retires to Florida + The Coach House is sold to John Dupuy III.
- 2001 | The Coach House serves its final meal and for years after, there were several attempts at new restaurants in that building.
- 2013 | Contents of the building are auctioned off + the building is demolished.
- 2014 | A new building lands at 855 S. Broadway, Lexington’s first Cookout.
Thanks to Readers Terri H., Cindy K., and Tom D. for bringing up this longstanding gem.