Lexington businesses of yesteryear

From West African cuisine to music venues, here are the Lexington businesses our readers miss the most.

The red and green Parkette Drive In sign that says chicken, shrimp, fish boxes

RIP, Parkette Drive In, you are missed. | Photo by @ginamarieyoung + @gatheredliving

Are there old Lexington diners, music venues, bars, and businesses you still miss? We recently asked you that question, and now we’re taking a trip back in time.

Consider this is an ode to some of your favorite now-closed Lexington businesses.


This beloved staple called South Limestone home, then East Main Street in its later iterations. Opened in 1973, the spot was known for its Southern food (anyone remember the griddle cakes?) and vegetarian options.

Atomic Cafe

Instagram user @kamorris2 said every time they drive by the "[still] empty carcass of Atomic Cafe,” they’re flooded with memories of being in their early 20s in a rock and roll band.

“Atomic Cafe! Best patio in Lexington.” — @markmonzinger

An outside shot of the old Lexington restaurant The Coach House.

The Coach House was located at 855 S. Broadway. | Photo courtesy of the Lexington Herald-Leader

The Coach House

The fine-dining establishment featured French, Italian, and Greek cuisines with an atmosphere that felt like an exclusive club.

Cosmic Charlie’s

Nothing said a night out on the town like catching a concert at Cosmic Charlie’s. It’s Deadhead-inspired vibes welcomed some iconic acts, like Apples in Stereo and Unknown Hinson of Adult Swim fame.

The Dame

Another beloved music venue, this West Main Street venue saw budding artists (many of whom went on to win Grammy Awards) like Jason Isbell and St. Vincent beforef it closed in 2009.

The outside of a brick building with a red sign that says "Magee's Bakery"

Magee’s Bakery closed last spring after 67 years in business. | Photo by LEXtoday


“I’ll never get over Magees being closed. A true Lexington gem!” — @sarahkosidedwards

Parkette Drive In

“If I dare to dream, I would love for the Parkette to be re-opened in a new area, move the sign (or leave it where it stands), and bring back the iconic drive-in eatery that was one of the spots Lexington was known for!” — Reader Ginni H.

Sav’s Grill

This West African spot served up comforting eats, like its peanut chicken bowl and fufu. But don’t fret — you can still grab Sav’s hot sauce and ice cream around town.

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