Last month, it was announced that 325 W. Main St. — aka the former Festival Market at the corner of Main + Broadway — was sold and will be getting a much anticipated glow up.
We spoke with new owner Katie Kaufman about the space, and she is thrilled to revive the prominent corner of downtown.
“I want this place to have charm, the charm that I feel Lexington actually does have. And I think this architecture lends itself to that — it just needs a little TLC,” said Kaufman.
We asked our Instagram followers + our readers what businesses they would like to see come to downtown. There are two key takeaways from the answers: Of the 217 responses, 31 of you said we needed a grocery store downtown + 11 said you’d like to see the carousel have a carousel come back.
Here’s more feedback our readers shared:
- “Adding my vote for a small grocery store for downtown residents/ visitors.” — @sorellagelateria
- “To echo what everyone else is saying, downtown definitely needs a small grocery. Love the idea of tying a farmers market into it as well.” — @crazavi
- “Grocery store to encourage more people living downtown.” — Reader Chris M.
- “Small grocery would be great. Something with the basics. All we have walkable is Wine Market. It’s lovely, but I’d like somewhere to pick up staples.” — @mspaulding7
- “Move the farmer’s market inside. Make it a year-round/daily thing like Findlay Market in Cincinnati.” — @robinwaltherhan
- “A grocery store and food hall both! The food court was wonderful back in the day!” — Reader Donna L.
- “Nordstrom Rack and Zara would be awesome.” — @jadivau35
- “Bookstore? Lexington needs more [of those]third spaces! And having a Joseph-Beth like place downtown would be lovely.” — @courtney.speaks
- “Trader Joe’s, indoor farmers market or something similar to ones in Cincinnati and Columbus, space for live music, local, non-chain restaurants, coffee shops, bars etc.” — Reader Lisa Z.
- “Drug store.” — Reader Bill I.
Food + Drink
In addition to the ideas mentioned below, many of you listed specific restaurants including: Cava, True Foods Kitchen, Sweetgreen, and Chick-fil-a.
- “An international food court and beer hall. All kinds of restaurants with a swanky central seating area with cool lights, good music, maybe a small stage for some live performances. Long tables for community seating and some smaller tables for dates.” — @tahjmahal_
- “Honestly it would be cool to see a bunch of bars and restaurants in there with the middle atrium open to events, similar to... Ballpark Village in St. Louis. Live music could happen on the main level, and people could use the bars/restaurants’ balconies to listen.” — @gracehannon9
- “I liked when the former Festival Market had all the small restaurants inside that had different themes and menus. The different cultures of places to eat was fabulous. That’s where my son got his taste for many different foods from different cultures. He began to start tasting different foods because of those wonderful places.” — Evelyn G.
All the things
- “A proper deli (Like Dad’s Favorites Deli), a drugstore, an art option (pottery, paint n’ sip, etc), a bookstore coffee shop. I would walk to these every week.” — Heather B.
- “An updated and much larger expansion of the Explorium. I know that’s not the money maker the owners are looking into, but it’s a shame a city the size of Lexington doesn’t have a better children’s museum.” — Hailey L.
- “Restaurants, bars and retail. Maybe a refurbished carousel as a nod to its beginnings. It’s such a nice space.” — @victorianoble930