Bourbon Restaurants Near Me

Restaurants and Bars in Kentucky

Unveiling Lexington KY Most Iconic Bars

5 min read
Bottle of alcohol on a barrel

Nestled in the heart of Kentucky, Lexington boasts more than just horse races and bourbon; it’s also home to an eclectic mix of bars that offer memorable experiences for locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re a bourbon aficionado or just looking for a fun night out, Lexington has something for you. Let’s embark on a journey to explore seven of the best bars in Lexington, KY.

Barrel House Distillery: A Whiskey Lover’s Paradise

In the heart of Lexington lies a treasure trove for whiskey enthusiasts, the Barrel House Distillery. This establishment is more than just one of the many “bars Lexington KY” offers; it’s a haven where tradition meets modernity.

Housed in what was once an old pepper distillery, this place stands as a testimony to Lexington’s deep-rooted bourbon history. It’s not just about serving drinks; Barrel House is a fully operational distillery. This allows visitors to both savor their exquisite spirits and witness the meticulous distillation process.

Unique Offerings:

  • Handcrafted spirits with a touch of Lexington’s essence;
  • Guided tours showcasing the transformation from grain to glass.


The setting is a blend of rustic charm interspersed with contemporary elements, providing patrons with a warm, welcoming atmosphere.


If you’re wondering what sets this place apart from other Lexington KY bars, it’s their signature moonshine cocktails, a perfect mix of flavors that leave a lasting impression.

Quick FactsDetails
LocationLexington, KY
SpecialtyBourbon & Moonshine Cocktails
Closing TimeWhat time do bars close in Lexington KY? Typically, around 2 AM, but always check ahead.

The Elkhorn Tavern: A Cozy Retreat

People sitting on the street near the establishment

The Elkhorn Tavern might seem like a hidden gem, tucked away in the streets of Lexington, but it holds its own among the more prominent Lexington KY bars.

Vintage Vibes:

The decor exudes an old-school aesthetic but doesn’t shy away from infusing bits of modern-day elegance, making it both familiar and intriguing for visitors.

Drink Specialties:

Elkhorn prides itself on its extensive list of craft beers and bespoke cocktails. Each drink is crafted with precision, ensuring a delightful experience for the patrons.

Live Music:

One of the hallmarks of this tavern is its regular live music performances. Local talents serenade visitors, setting the perfect mood for a relaxed evening.

For those inquiring about “what time do bars close in Lexington KY,” The Elkhorn Tavern, like many establishments, usually wraps up around 2 AM.

The Burl: Where Music and Mirth Merge

Bar sign in the evening

The Burl isn’t just another name on the list of “bars Lexington KY.” It’s an institution. Positioned in a former train depot, its history is as rich as the drinks it serves.


What’s fascinating about The Burl is its dual identity. By day, it’s a serene spot to grab a drink. By night, it metamorphoses into a bustling music venue, drawing crowds from all over Lexington.


Their calendar is always packed. Live performances, both from local talents and touring bands, are a regular affair.

Beverage Highlights:

The Burl may be renowned for its music, but their drink offerings aren’t far behind. Their menu boasts an array of draft beers and handcrafted cocktails that cater to varied palates.

The Beer Trappe: For the Discerning Beer Enthusiast

View of the bar from outside

The Beer Trappe holds a special place among the wide variety of bars Lexington KY proudly flaunts. Recognized for its emphasis on quality and variety, it’s a beer lover’s dream.

Beer Selection:

At The Beer Trappe, one can lose themselves in a sea of both domestic and international brews. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, their selection is unparalleled among Lexington KY bars.

Knowledgeable Staff:

Not sure what to pick? No worries. Their staff isn’t just there to serve; they’re well-versed in the nuanced world of beers. They’re always ready with recommendations, fun facts, and tidbits about each beer.


Despite its vast selection, the atmosphere remains unpretentiously relaxed. The perfect setting for beer tasting or just catching up with friends.

Notable FeaturesDetails
AmbianceCasual & Relaxed
Beer CountOver 100 Different Brews
Special NightsBeer Tasting Tuesdays

Drake’s Lexington: A Fusion of Sports and Spirits

Sign on the bar building

When one thinks of lively, energetic Lexington KY bars, Drake’s Lexington inevitably comes to mind. It’s a venue that masterfully combines the thrill of sports with the pleasure of good drinks.

Sports Viewing:

Multiple screens strategically positioned ensure that you won’t miss a second of action, regardless of where you’re seated. Whether it’s football, baseball, or basketball, they’ve got it covered.

Varied Menu:

It’s not just about drinks at Drake’s. Their menu boasts a range of delectable dishes, from juicy burgers to crispy wings, ensuring you won’t leave hungry.

Trivia Nights:

If you’re looking to engage in some light-hearted competition, their trivia nights are a must-attend. Team up with friends or fellow patrons and test your knowledge.

Chevy Chase Inn: An Ode to History

Tree with lanterns in the center of the hall

The Chevy Chase Inn isn’t just one of the oldest Lexington KY bars; it’s a living piece of the city’s history. Operating since the 1930s, its walls have witnessed countless stories.

Historical Experience:

The bar has managed to retain its original charm, offering patrons a glimpse into Lexington’s bygone era. The vintage decor coupled with classic tunes creates an ambiance like no other.

Diverse Crowd:

Its rich history attracts a mix of patrons, from youngsters looking to experience the past to older patrons reminiscing about their days.

Signature Drinks:

Their drink menu might have evolved over the years, but it still retains classics loved through the ages. Their bartenders, with their mix of old and new techniques, ensure every drink is memorable.

Ole Hooker’s Bait And Tackle: Dive into Quirkiness

Bar with wooden furniture, view from the inside

Despite its peculiar name, Ole Hooker’s stands out as one of the most uniquely themed bars Lexington KY has. Fishing memorabilia adorn its walls, making it an intriguing spot for both locals and tourists.

Quirky Decor:

The fishing-themed decor, complete with rods, reels, and baits, offers a distinct experience. It feels like a fisherman’s haven, with the added bonus of great drinks.

Inexpensive Drinks:

Don’t let the decor fool you into thinking it’s all about fishing. Their drinks menu is vast and, more importantly, wallet-friendly.

Local Hangout Spot:

Its laid-back vibe has made it a favorite among locals. Whether you’re looking to catch up on gossip or just wind down after a long day, Ole Hooker’s is the place to be.


Lexington, KY, with its rich history and vibrant nightlife, offers a myriad of bars that cater to every kind of patron. From the whiskey connoisseurs to the beer enthusiasts, there’s a spot for everyone. Next time you find yourself in Lexington, be sure to check out these seven iconic establishments.


Which bar in Lexington is the oldest?
Chevy Chase Inn holds the title of being the oldest bar in Lexington.

Are there live performances at The Burl every night?
While The Burl frequently hosts live performances, it’s best to check their schedule in advance.

Does Barrel House Distillery offer group tours?
Yes, they do offer group tours. It’s advisable to book in advance.

Is Ole Hooker’s Bait And Tackle a fishing shop or a bar?
Despite its quirky name, it’s a dive bar with a fishing-themed decor.

Which bar offers the best craft beer selection in Lexington?
The Beer Trappe is renowned for its extensive craft beer selection.

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