Keeneland Magazine

NO4 2013

Keeneland, Investing in Racing's Future since 1936.

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The Little House That Could Arimes may not have realized that he was a chef in search of a restaurant — at least not initially — but the bungalow at 735 Main was defnitely a restaurant in search of a chef. Since it opened in 1938 as The Stirrup Cup, a popular hangout where horsey types enjoyed the traditional favors of the commonwealth, the building has metamorphosed from one restaurant to another with what seemed like alarming frequency. Some proved to be barely a blip on Lexington's dining radar (Le Café Francais, Hall's on Main, Onizim's); others settled in for a longer stay (Furlong's). The kitchen went from turning out French-inspired cuisine to Kentucky favorites to the favors of the bayou. Diners dared not get too comyou don't count those early years in the kitchen fortable; blink and their favorite dining spot was gone. with Mom and Grandmom — was as a barista It seems that Arimes, who signed his name on the lease in 2011, is here and manager at the Joseph-Beth Bookstore Café to stay. That he fnally has found a home at the age of 40 clearly agrees with here in Lexington. When the company opened Arimes, who grew up in the nearby Kenwick neighborhood. As proof that he a location in Cincinnati, Arimes went along to views this as a long-term endeavor, the frst thing he did was enlist the aid help get it started. He ended up staying in the of his mother, Bekki Turnbull, a former interior decorator, to transform the Queen City for 18 years, although it wasn't until somewhat stark Onizim's into a welcoming oasis of French Country chic. a stint at Don Pablo's Mexican Restaurant in Cin- The dark green walls were repainted buttercup yellow and trimmed in cinnati's Hyde Park area that he began to see his blue, and the black ceiling was painted white. Frilly curtains and fower future career taking shape. boxes, as well as banquettes lining both sides of the dining room, add to "After about a year cooking Tex-Mex, I began to fgure out that I could do this for a living," the ambiance. "My mother has a fantastic eye, and her design philosophy is that just because things don't match doesn't mean they don't go together," Arimes Arimes said. Thus began his career trajectory with the said. city's esteemed Maisonette Group — frst as The whole effect may be more Provence than Central Kentucky, but sous chef at Chester's Road House, followed by Arimes insisted on keeping one homage to the Bluegrass: the horse murals. his frst head chef position at Baxter's, and then Dating to 1949, these wall murals are the work of Theresa Newhoff, a for- double duty as head chef at both Trio and Embers restaurants. It was at the latter that he frst heard of an opportunity that would be too good to pass up, thus bringing Cole Arimes full circle in his chosen profession. "My stepfather, Bill Turnbull, told me about a Lexington property that was about to become available, and as soon as he mentioned the location, I knew it was kismet," Arimes said. While happy in his position with Maisonette, the lure of having his own restaurant proved too strong to resist. "Once you hear that siren song, there's no turning back," Arimes acknowledged. Above and right, the distinctive bungalow now has the feel of a French country inn. KEENELAND WINTER 2013 77

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