The Grove In Lexington Is Your One-Stop Shop For Food, Fun, And Collaboration

The Grove is the eclectic reincarnation of a beloved local hangout you shouldn't miss.

Before launching The Grove, Kiely had owned Harvey's Bar, a favorite local watering hole in downtown Lexington, and the neighboring Hugo's Ultra Lounge. Today, locals and visitors alike need not fear: Harvey's isn't going anywhere but rather is incorporated into the collective of small businesses that now occupy the space at The Grove. Joining Harvey's are Fable Charcuterie and Wine, and Luna's Vintage Food Truck, serving unique sharable snacks and entrees. Kiely also piloted The Melodeon, a music and event venue, and the outdoor beer garden.

The COVID pandemic helped shape Kiely's vision for The Grove, inviting other small businesses that would complement each other in one space. Restaurant closings during the pandemic spurred new challenges and exciting opportunities for business owners, including Kiely, who said, "That makes us even more excited for the opportunity to re-open Harvey's Bar and Beer Garden as part of The Grove—a micro-community that embraces and supports other local businesses. We love Lexington because this community helped shape us as entrepreneurs and humans." Learn more about the small businesses occupying The Grove and the owners who help make this vision come to life.

The Grove Harvey's Bar Lexington KY
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Fable Charcuterie and Wine

Lauren Hardesty, co-owner of Fable Charcuterie and Wine, moved into The Grove at the invitation of Kiely, a friend. Hardesty started doing charcuterie boards in 2019 and quickly found a niche, especially in 2020. It was also an excellent creative outlet for the art major and mother.

"Because of the pandemic, people were stuck inside, and getting a charcuterie board seemed like some luxury," Hardesty said. After talking with Kiely, Hardesty moved into The Grove and rebranded as Fable Charcuterie and Wine. Hardesty took inspiration from "The Fox and the Crow," a story in Aesop's Fables.

The Grove Lexington Fable Charcuterie
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For Fable, Hardesty and her partner, sommelier Ellis Delahousay, have created a delectable menu. Delahousay crafted the wine offerings that patrons can order from Harvey's Bar before dipping over to Fable for custom charcuterie boards.

"One of the cool things about our boards is that all [of them] are made to order, and they're all different," Hardesty said. "We don't have a standard board, but because we use fresh, seasonal ingredients, they're all a little bit different, and every one of them is a work of art."

The Grove Lexington Luna Food Truck
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Stephania Sharkey runs Luna, The Grove's permanent food truck. Kiely had been a fan of her work at another downtown restaurant, where Sharkey was a sous-chef. Now, Luna specializes in small plates and appetizers, providing the main course after patrons have grazed their way through charcuterie boards, bar snacks, and drinks on a night out.

"My menu is largely worldly bites with an emphasis on seasonal produce," Sharkey said. "I like making food that tastes as good as it looks, so I make a lot of tasty sauces and use herbs and flowers from my garden."

The Grove Lexington Harvey's Bar Drink
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The Melodeon

Finally, there is The Melodeon, which, during the course of its 200-year-old lifespan, has been, among other things, a theater, a pharmacy, and a diner. When the diner owners were ready to sell, Kiely, who was already operating Harvey's, scrambled for it.

"When you're in your late twenties, [you] don't really think of risk or anything. I just jumped on it, and I was able to purchase it," Kiely recalled.

The Grove Lexington
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Since its founding, Hugo's has been at the forefront of the Lexington social scene. It continues to evolve with The Grove. The space transforms into an event space that does everything from private gatherings to yoga classes and wine tastings.  

"I think there was a need back then," Kiely remembered of the early days. "There were no nightclubs in Lexington. It was a bit of a chance, but my brother and I got a bank loan, and we opened Hugo's Ultra Lounge. We've had that all the way up until COVID, and we've always loved the name of The Melodeon. We thought it'd be lovely to reincarnate it."

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