Keeneland Magazine

NO4 2013

Keeneland, Investing in Racing's Future since 1936.

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Main-Stay The bar at Coles is a cozy gathering spot that features its own menu. C ole Arimes was 11 years old when he frst became a sous chef. At that tender age he decided that he liked prepping in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother, both ex- cellent cooks. Fast forward 29 years and Arimes presides over his own kitchen at his eponymous restaurant, Coles 735 Main, which occupies the periwinkle-blue trimmed bungalow at the corner of North Ashland and East Main Street. Even in Lexington's wildly mushrooming restaurant scene, Cole's has carved out a niche that clearly surprises Arimes. "We've become way busier way faster than I ever imagined we would," he said. That's an understatement. In a typical week the restaurant — which is open only for dinner Monday through Saturday — averages 900 to 1,100 covers. That number balloons to between 1,200 and 1,400 during events such as Keeneland. This good fortune might be enough to fuster someone with less experience than Arimes has in handling every aspect of the restaurant business. Over a 20-year career, he's done it all — waiter, bartender, front of house manager, sous chef, head chef — a true journeyman. It is all the more surprising when you consider that Arimes didn't start out to make his mark in the food industry. He spent two years attending Centre College in Danville as an engineering major. But to quote a cliché, "the best laid plans often go awry" … and the engineering world's loss became the culinary world's gain. After he dropped out of college, his frst job in the food industry — if 76 KEENELAND WINTER 2013

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