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middle fork kitchen bar features New American cuisine with a global flare that is thoughtfully-sourced and handcrafted. Read more

Lexington, KY Food
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pledged of $20,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on April 27, 2014.

middle fork kitchen bar features New American cuisine with a global flare that is thoughtfully-sourced and handcrafted.

Lexington, KY Food
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About this project

Why here? Why now?

Some people may say we're crazy to be the first to go down here but I know there are people who want to see this restoration and be able to take part in it. Of course, being the first means a lot of renovation, planning and, frankly, risk.

Before we ever get the first plate in front of you, there are major renovations to make. We have to get the space built. And it is a crazy beautiful space! When you stand at the door of middle fork, it really feels like you are in the center of everything that got Lexington moving. The water underneath that fed the bourbon that used to be made here. All you have to do is look around the place to see the level of care and craftsmanship that went into--and continues to be put into-- every detail.

Your support from $25 to $10,000 is a massive help. I have been working on this restaurant for well over a year. Saving every penny, turning every bit of profit from the truck right back into this project. Every dime I have made and will make goes to support middle fork. Alongside this $20,000, we will have the power to keep the project moving on time and on course. If all goes according to plan, you will be sitting at middle fork come July 2014.

So what happens next? 

middle fork kitchen bar is built around an open kitchen, and in the center, a 6-foot long, custom-made Argentinian wood-fired grill, a perfect way to infuse complex, rich flavors into simply prepared meats and produce. 

The plans call for a small cozy restaurant with 50 seats inside and during the warmer months, 50 more seats on the patio. Trust me, you won't want to leave once your here. Your eyes and belly will be oh so happy.

What will you eat?

Think: locally-focused, seasonal, new-American fare alongside craft beer, wine and cocktails. One of the things we will showcase is butchery, not just any butchery but whole animal, nose-to-tail from heritage breed livestock sourced from farms across the Ohio River Valley. We will be using the entire animal for cuts to grill but also for stocks, sausages, sauces and charcuterie. 

You know the food from my truck. That is only a small portion of what I can do. I want to stretch my wings and really show you what we are capable of. I want you to sit back, breathe deep and take in everything middle fork kitchen bar has to offer. 

Thank you for your belief in my food and my vision to bring middle fork kitchen bar into reality.

Risks and challenges

There is a lot of experience coming into this project. While we are well equipped for this new venture, risk is a big part of any new project--especially in the restaurant business.

Normal concerns: construction deadlines, meeting codes, licensing specs, securing suppliers and vendors, and of course, cash flow. Because part of middle fork's mission is to provide the highest standards in service, finding staff who understand in and believe in what we do is going to be crucial.

We are on a tight deadline with all this because we want to have our doors open by July 2014. Every minute, and every dime counts.

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  • When we thought through the pledge rewards, I envisioned the backers creating and naming 4 seasonal dinner dishes. But what the hoo, maybe we should have opened it up to include the 4 seasons of lunch, as well as our Sunday breakfasts?
    So let's do that. If you look, we now have a total of 9 spots where you get to be part of our culinary team. We'll sort out who creates what dish in what season, and for which meal chronologically, first to pledge first to pick. I can't wait to create with you...keep on giving! Thanks!

    Last updated:


  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    23 backers

    (1) one dessert voucher from middle fork kitchen bar, tons of love and respect and many, many thank yous.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    34 backers

    We like a bit of rebellion--hell, it's why we are the first resto in the district. So we want you to mark our bar permanently.
    (1) Your signature signed with a permanent marker under the bar. And, (1) voucher for a small plate of your choosing from middle fork kitchen bar.

    Thanks, thanks, thanks!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    21 backers

    The Little Jack Horner Reward. Your thumbprint will be added to the hundreds of other contributors to help us stamp our logo into our newly poured floor.

    Plus, (1) voucher for a large plate of your choosing from the middle fork menu.

    And, for out-of -towners who can't make the cement pouring...
    (1) you get a middle fork signature bandana so you can be part of the team from your own kitchen

    (1) voucher for a large plate the next time you are in town.

    Many thank yous and hugs!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    5 backers

    Pour over us! This is a new level of giving and you get a cool thing. The gents, Chris and Sal, at Cup of Common Wealth, will come to your home or office with the slowbar (pour overs, Chemex etc) and give you personal coffee service on a date of your choosing! Plus, (1) voucher for a large plate of your choosing from the middle fork menu.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    15 backers Limited (35 left of 50)

    (2) tickets to the "Hard Hat" reception to help us soften the bar. Get a sneak peak at some of our menu items and signature cocktails.

    (1) Surprise gift at the reception.

    Plus, you get to be one of the first people to be in the space, eat the food and then brag to your friends that you were there.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    8 backers Limited (17 left of 25)

    (1) You and three of your friends will experience an off-menu five-course meal* at the chef's counter! You will get to watch Chef Mark create crazy delicious dishes right before your very eyes!

    *Alcohol, tax and gratuities are not included.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    7 backers Limited (2 left of 9)

    Create a signature dish that will be named after you and on the middle fork menu for one full season! Chef Mark will work with you to create your very own dish! It's a cooking class, it's a boasting point, it's amazing! Plus, (2) vouchers for a 3-course dinner at middle fork. And, much love and thanks.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    Chef Jensen will bring his kitchen to you for a private party that’s off the truck! You and 9 friends will be treated to a specially-prepared middle fork kitchen bar extravaganza in your own backyard. No back yard? No problem. You can throw your party on the middle fork patio.*

    Great for a birthday, graduation celebration or just ‘cause you want to. Many thanks!

    *middle fork patio must be reserved 30 days in advance.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    (1) We close the restaurant just for you. You get the space, our staff, and all of our resources for an exclusive event of your choosing. It’s yours to do with what you please. Host a rehearsal dinner. Throw a bang-up party. Take your entire staff to lunch. Point is, we’ll work with you to design a middle fork infused, custom event of your choosing for up to 25 guests.** Eternal gratitude.
    *Alcohol, tax and gratuities are not included. *Must be scheduled with a 2-month advance. *Some blackout dates are necessary--like Derby, etc.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (24 days)