Lockbox, the much anticipated downtown restaurant and bar located the 21C Museum Hotel in Lexington, Ky., has officially opened its doors to the public. The attached 88-room boutique hotel and contemporary art museum are slated to open in the coming weeks.
Under the helm of executive chef Jonathan Searle, Lockbox features a chef-driven menu that pays homage to Lexington’s cultural identity, in a unique setting that blends restored historic details – including the original marble floors and wainscoting – with modern art and design. A prominent contemporary light installation hanging over the dining and bar area features acrylic orb-shaped lights that change and shift according to the following day’s local weather forecast, and cooks work around a four-sided, open kitchen suite fully visible from the dining room.
While Lockbox’s menu will change seasonally to highlight local ingredients, current offerings range from homemade pimento cheese served with pepper jam, chicken liver mousse and saltines to Kentucky silver carp with farro, mushroom broth and Kentucky soy. In an ode to the prominent local Mexican culture, cornmeal gnocchi is served with lamb ragu, green chili and buttermilk.
“Jonathan and his team at Lockbox are really going to be focused on developing relationships with local suppliers in order to provide guests with food that’s indicative of the region,” said Molly Swyers, senior vice president of design and communications for 21C, which is based out of Louisville and features locations in that city as well as Cincinnati; Bentonville, Ark.; and Durham, N.C.