The St. Matthews dining and bar scene has another top-notch newcomer…Drakes is now officially open for you to come out and play. After attending the grand opening this past Thursday night ( packed!), I went back to try some lunch, and had a chance to sit down with Brandon True, the Managing Partner for Drakes, and find out a bit more about this comfy restaurant and pub.
Bluegrass Hospitality Group, co-owned by Bruce Drake and Brian McCarty already have several successful eateries in Lexington, where they are based. Malone’s Steakhouse, Sal’s chop-house and Harry’s Sports bars are the forerunners to Drakes, and I was told by Brandon “that after 2 months of eating and eating and eating”, they came up with the original and high quality menu that is Drakes.
Located in the front of the Burdorf’s furnishing store on Shelbyville road ( the old Bacon’s for the Louisville direction ) Drakes has opened up the front with Garage doors so you can kick back with one of 24 hand selected craft beers they serve, enjoy the open air atmostphere and check out the Shelbyville Road crowd. Or are you hungry as well as thirsty? Then have a build your own Seared Filet Taco, hand pressed Tavern burger, or even a Fried Bologna sandwich…yes, I said Fried Bologna, but it’s a gourmet Bologna, served double-decker on toasted sourdough with mayo, lettuce, tomato and melted swiss cheese.Yum.
The menu is eclectic clever., a cumulation of several of their restaurant menus.Tater tots and waffle sweet potato sides, Aqua Sushi, prepared by expert Sushi masters, Hot Shrimp Poppers tossed in buffalo sauce are but a few other dining selections to choose from. Then there is dessert. I had to try the Fried Twinkie Sundae, served with chocolate and raspberry sauce with Vanilla bean ice cream. Created by Jared Justice, the Kitchen Manager for Drakes, this fluffy creamy crunchy dessert is worth the trip on its own!
I found the atmosphere warm and inviting for lunching and dinner, but also a great place for the nighttime party people, with a D.J pumping up the crowd from 9 P.M. to close, Thursday through Saturday. 50 inch flat screens abound, but no volume , only a nice music background to enjoy your dining experience. Some of the T.V’s had the video to accompany the music, which is a nice touch. Brandon said not to worry though, on big game days, the volume will be appropriate.
Details are very important to the staff at Drakes, as Brandon explained…and they do have some cool details. Besides always having a full glass of that great soft ice for your libation, they also have an interesting drinking option called a Personal Table Tap. About 3 feet high, it holds 60, 90 or 120 oz with your choice of crafted beer, brought right to your table with a chunk of ice to keep it always at the right temperature.
So, whether you Bring your customer to lunch, your partner to Dinner, or come later to party with the crowd, Drakes has the combination and the details right.
Dining hours : open at 11:15 every day, sunday through Wednesday open till midnight or later, and thursday through Saturday 2 A.M or later
Menu prices average $7 to $12 , with craft beers at $4 to $5.50 per 16oz frozen mug.