Versailles Brewing Co.’s, restaurant to open
Woodford Countians will have another dining option when Versailles Brewing Company opens its restaurant on Friday, Dec. 29. The locally-owned business fills two storefronts in the Lexington Road Plaza, formerly occupied by the China Buffet and Advance Auto Parts.
Gary Jones, who co-owns Versailles Brewing Company with Woodford County farmer Curtis Congleton, predicted those who come into the restaurant will be pleased with what they see.
“The people who’ve been in so far are kind of surprised by how big it is,” said Jones. He said space formerly occupied by China Buffet has been repurposed as a meeting room for up to 75 people or two meeting rooms for 35 and 40 people.
“There’s really no place here in Versailles where you can have that size meeting with food and drink,” said Jones. He said a birthday party and wedding reception have already been booked for the space “so the meeting rooms will be popular, I think.”
He said Versailles Brewing Company hopes to begin brewing its own beer in April. In the meantime, the restaurant will have a full bar with 26 taps featuring craft beers from nearby communities including Lexington and Georgetown.
The growing popularity of microbreweries in Kentucky and elsewhere has put Versailles Brewing Company “down the line” in terms of getting its stainless steel beer tanks built, Jones said. While tanks manufactured in China are more readily available, he said, “We’re going for better tanks that we know are made in the states.”
With a five-year lease, Jones said he and Congleton have a lot of long-term plans for Versailles Brewing Company, but also have a short-term goal. “We’re trying to keep people here to where they don’t have to drive to Lexington to get a good meal and have some variety,” he said.
If any uncertainty exists in terms of the future, it’s U-Haul International’s recent purchase of the Lexington Road Plaza and its plans to open a rental business at that location along Lexington Road. “I think we’re all a little surprised by all of this,” said Jones. “It’s going to be interesting to see how all of this works out, but we still have plenty of parking so I’m not worried about that aspect of it.”
Overall, Jones said he and Congleton want their restaurant at Versailles Brewing Company to offer an extensive menu that’s moderately priced and family friendly.
The restaurant will use locally-sourced beef, pork, lettuce, kale and spinach for meals on its menu – even though some locally-grown vegetables are not available in the winter, Jones said.
In warmer months, he said Versailles Brewing Company’s restaurant would like to feature items on its menu with 80 percent or more of meal ingredients coming from local sources. “It’s virtually impossible to do 100 percent,” he added.
Besides food and drink, patrons of Versailles Brewing Company will be entertained by two live bands – one country and one rock-and-roll – on opening weekend. “I’m not going to have a band every weekend,” said Jones, “but we’re trying it to see what fits with our clientele.”