Burgers have taken over the spot where Mexican once reigned. The former El Chico in Beaumont Centre now is Bru Burger Bar. The menu at the gourmet burger place also features salads, sandwiches, and craft beers. Burgers choices include the Bru (Taleggio cheese, bacon, tomato jam, caramelized onion); Roma (arugula pesto, prosciutto, roasted red peppers); Kentucky bourbon (bacon, peppercorn-bourbon glaze, horseradish havarti); lamb (cucumber sauce, feta-olive relish); and ground turkey (carrot-ginger slaw, peach compote). Bru is at 3010 Lakecrest Circle. Call (859) 305-0082 or go to Bruburgerbar.com.
■ Brown’s Bakery, 1226 Versailles Road, is closing the end of December. Owner James Brown said he has a “new venture, and I can’t wait.” We’ll have to wait until Brown, who participated on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, and also appeared on Season 3 of TLC’s Next Great Baker, is ready to tell us. Call (859) 225-8400 or go to Brownbakery.com.
■ House Food & Wine, 207 South Limestone, has closed. “The time commitment was too much for us with our other businesses,” owner David Jones said.
New Year celebrations
■ Alfalfa, 141 East Main Street, is serving its annual New Year’s Day brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Specials include raspberry almond pancakes and spinach mushroom omelets. Call (859) 253-0014 or go to Alfalfarestaurant.com.
■ Natasha’s Bistro, 112 Esplanade, is planning a romantic New Year’s Eve dinner with a four-course prix fixe menu for $60, as well as an a la carte menu. There will be strolling musicians during dinner and at the party afterwards. Seating is from 5 to 9:30 p.m.
Half price movie tickets are available for those dining early and going to the Kentucky Theatre to see “Nebraska” or “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Call (859) 259-2754 or go to Beetnik.com.
■ Thai Orchid Café, 1030 South Broadway, will be closed Sunday through Christmas Day, and Jan. 1. The café will be open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve, and the party begins at 5 p.m. featuring a three-course meal for $25.95. Call (859) 288-2170 or go to Thaiorchidcafe.net.
■ Bakery Blessings & Bookstore @ the Bar, 1999 Harrodsburg Road, is accepting last minute orders for Christmas pies, cakes, and goodies. The bakery will be open Christmas Eve until 2 p.m. with no lunch service, closed Christmas Day, and Thursday. Call (859) 554-6044.
■ Double H BBQ, 1244 Versailles Road, is offering country ham by the pound through the holidays. Also available are smoked pulled pork or chicken, brisket, ribs, 24- and 48-piece wing platters, burgoo, homemade sides, and desserts. Call (859) 523- 4227 or go to Doublehbbq.com.
■ Red State BBQ, 4020 Georgetown Road, is taking orders for smoked turkeys for holiday meals. “We get our turkeys fresh from Critchfield Meats and will be taking orders right up to close of business on Friday,” owner David Carroll said. Pickup for the turkeys is before 6 p.m. Christmas Eve. Cost is $5 a pound.
The restaurant is offering smoked prime rib as the Friday night special. Cost is $16.50 for 8-ounce prime rib, and $19 for 10 ounces.Red State is offering a 10 percent discount with a Southern Lights ticket stub through Dec. 31. Call (859) 233-7898 or go to Redstatebbq.com.
■ People who like lamb fries will travel great distances to eat them, and when The Julep Cup offers the southern delicacy as a special, people “drive in from all sorts of counties,” chef/owner Lindsay Brooks Brugh said. Call (859) 226-0300 or go to Thejulepcup.com. The restaurant is at 111 Woodland Avenue.
■ The Grey Goose, 170 Jefferson Street, is serving prime rib pizza and Clare Island salmon with a teriyaki glaze on Friday and Saturday. Call (859) 233-1500 or go to Greygooserestaurants.com.