If supporting vibrant and unique small businesses is your thing, you either already know or will be glad to hear that Lexington is home to plenty. Here are five local digs to check out next time you’re doing some shopping, eating, or just exploring downtown Lexington and beyond.
126 West Maxwell Street
Located right next to UK campus in the heart of downtown Lexington, “Big City Fashion, Small Town Charm” is Bella Rose’s tagline, and nothing sums up the experience of stopping in this unique Lexington boutique better than that. Its hand-painted, colorful exterior stands out even on the vibrant downtown streets, and inside you’ll find fashion-forward formalwear, sundresses, accessories, and other items. The business has been around for over four decades, and its spectacular collection of cheerful, distinctive styles has something for everyone’s tastes.
147 North Limestone
Known for burgers and various other sandwich-adjacent delights, Sidebar Grill is a local favorite that serves as a frequent venue for socializing on bustling Lexington evenings; it’s the perfect place to grab a bite to eat during events held at and around the Courthouse like the Lexington Pride Festival, which draws huge numbers of visitors each summer with numerous local vendors. You’ll also find a top-notch grilled cheese at Sidebar, if burgers aren’t your thing.
Creatures of Whim
126 North Broadway
Filled to the brim with unique fair-trade items, Creatures of Whim is something of a one-stop shop for crystals, candles, jewelry, and herbal wellness. You’ll find everything from tarot cards to reusable makeup wipes here, making it a great place for anybody looking to shop sustainably and for all-natural and clean-ingredient goods. There’s also The Creatures’ Cauldron Cafe nearby, which has an assortment of drinks and baked goods available in a lovely atmosphere.
331 East Short Street
As the name suggests, Bicycle Face is a bike shop– an impressive one, at that– but it’s also a bar serving up regional favorites like Country Boy, Mirror Twin, and Rhinegeist beer, as well as other beer and non-alcoholic options. While it’s the perfect place for enthusiasts to hunt down some super-specific bicycle gear, it’s also a great place for those new to the hobby and hoping to learn more or those simply in need of some bicycle repairs. Bicycle Face even price-matches up to thirty days after your purchase, so you can ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Part thrift store, part vintage and antiques shop, and part extremely well-curated flea market– it’s easier to describe what The Domestic isn’t rather than what it is– and what it isn’t is boring. There’s always a stunning furniture piece, gorgeous retro fashion item, or rare antique that will have you captivated, and fresh finds are so popular that items can get nabbed as soon as they’re posted to the shop’s Instagram. Plus, they’re open every day, so you can scratch your vintage itch any time of the week.