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The fun in Lexington doesn’t stop when the sun goes down, and many might say that’s when it really begins. The bar scene near the Transylvania University and University of Kentucky campuses is very much alive throughout the week, while there are plenty of pubs, restaurants, and shops near South Limestone at the edge of the UK campus.
Downtown is once again becoming the center of nightlife and culture in Lexington, KY. There's a wide variety of eateries, ranging from your traditional deli to upscale restaurants. The corner of Upper and Main St. is quickly becoming the epicenter of downtown entertainment. There's Bluegrass Tavern (Bourbon bar), Parlay Social (speakesy-esque, live music), McCarthy's and Molly Brookes (Irish pubs), Harvey's (smaller, more upscale), and many more.
Lexington also is home to Comedy Off Broadway at the Mall at the Lexington Green, which was ranked the number one comedy club in the region by the Professional Comedian’s Association, and the venue transforms to a jazz club on the first Monday of every month.
Speaking of jazz, you can get the unique sound of Kentucky jazz and other live acts at the Cheapside Bar & Grill in downtown. On Monday nights at the Kentucky Theatre, the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour is recorded. This show features some of the best folk and acoustic music, and is broadcast on more than 400 radio stations in 32 countries.
For a bit more country flare the Austin City Saloon in Woodhill is Lexington’s original country bar and home to John Michael Montgomery. The Backroads American Music Theatre offers a smoke-free/alcohol-free setting in historic Midway that is just about the music of the region.
The performing arts are also very much alive and well, and this includes the Lexington Philharmonic, the Actors Guild of Lexington, the Lexington Ballet and Kentucky Ballet Theatre, which both offer full seasons of dance. There are also touring shows from Broadway in the restored Lexington Opera House. Each June, the UK Opera Theatre presents its widely popular “It’s a Grand Night for Singing,” while July and August offers Summerfest at the Arboretum (3 outdoor plays - bring a picnic!). And for movie buffs the restored 1920s Kentucky Theatre provides off-beat, foreign and classical films.