Whiskey Bear is set to be new local watering hole at The Barn at Fritz Farm, highlighting Kentucky’s heritage with an impressive selection of bourbons.
In 1964, Congress declared bourbon “America’s Native Spirit,” meaning to be called bourbon, it must be made in the U.S. When you think about bourbon, it’s no wonder Kentucky is the first state that comes to mind, because 95 percent of the world’s bourbon is made in Kentucky. That heritage is celebrated in the “Kentucky Bourbon Trail” that offers extraordinary tours across the state to visit the nine historic distilleries that helped earn Kentucky its fame.
Fast forward to present day and we arrive at The Barn at Fritz Farm, Kentucky’s first food hall. Whiskey Bear, the new local watering hole and only bar within The Barn, is operated by Daniel and Florence Marlowe. Florence, known by her friends as Flo, is originally from France and spent nearly 20 years in Colorado. Daniel, a native of Lexington, returned to his roots with his family of three in 2015 after a stint in Denver and they quickly became intrigued by the growing food culture around the city.
While living in Denver, Daniel and Flo Marlowe met and built a vibrant life together where they were involved in the exploding restaurant scene and often found themselves in settings surrounded by chefs, restauranteurs, etc. The two eventually married and began a family when their daughter Adelyn was born in the summer of 2015. Later that year, Daniel and Flo decided to return to Daniel’s hometown to raise their daughter and be closer to his family.
The pair recognized the importance of celebrating the birthplace of bourbon and their love for entertaining others – hence the creation of Whiskey Bear.
The two are now establishing their roots in the Lexington community and will no doubt see their reputations grow as Whiskey Bear gains popularity. Inspired by their life together in Denver, Daniel and Flo decided to open the bar concept at The Barn along with other local business owners, and to create a community gathering place, dedicated to celebrating Kentucky’s heritage and traditions.
When the dynamic duo was first introduced to The Barn, they set out on a discovery tour of some of the most successful food halls across the Southeast, including Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market in Atlanta, and The Pizitz Food Hall in Birmingham, Alabama, among others. The purpose of the tour was to familiarize themselves with some of the best working concepts in the region that would help them to curate a stall that would be unique to the Lexington community while also incorporating the key elements that would ensure a thriving business.
Last month, the pair opened the whiskey bar concept at The Barn which features an extensive selection of bourbons and other whiskeys that celebrate Kentucky’s heritage along with classic cocktails made with fresh ingredients, as well as a carefully selected beer and wine list to complement the variety of food offerings in the food hall.
While Daniel’s background focuses on front-of-house operations including bartending, staffing and managing employees, Flo used her design background for the conceptual design of the space and the overall branding efforts. She is also highly knowledgeable in accounting and handles the financial aspects of the business.
The Marlowes chose to open a stall at The Barn largely based on the community effect of the food hall and they couldn’t have imagined opening Whiskey Bear anywhere else across town. Daniel and Flo see Whiskey Bear as “being a part of a larger innovative concept and are excited to put their passion for serving others to use alongside the terrific group of local operators occupying the neighboring stalls.”