Oscar Diggs closure on North Limestone in downtown Lexington

A restaurant in downtown Lexington famous for innovative food and craft beer closes after nearly five years.

But there’s still plenty of time to swing and grab one last round.

Oscar Diggs, which opened in 2018 in the former Merit Furniture building in North Limestone, will be closed from July 9, according to owner Ralph Quillin.

Quillen said the restaurant, which was originally a partnership between his Rooster Brewing in Paris and food truck chefs Gastro Gnomes, thanks the community for its five years of support and love.

Even during the pandemic, he said, the restaurant continued to stay afloat, adding sidewalk seating and opening windows.

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Vince Gruposo, Oscar Diggs chief financial officer, uses a tape measure to ensure outdoor tables are spaced safely at the restaurant in Lexington, Kentucky, Friday, May 22, 2020. Restaurants in Kentucky can reopen for dinner on Friday. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Oscar Diggs, at 155 N. rhermens@herald-leader.com

He planned to post an ad on social media for clients, saying, “This has been a very difficult decision for us! Oscar Diggs has continued to succeed through it all – the pandemic, employment and so many other issues – all beyond our control.”

“Living at Bluegrass is incredibly special, it has been a pleasure serving the best clients and making incredible friends. We have experienced kindness and love and will always cherish it. We will continue to build in our community in Paris, through our vision with Quillin Leather and Tack and Captain Tuttle’s and a few more future side projects. Stay tuned!”

He said they would focus on growing Quillin Leather and Tack as well as Captain Tuttle’s, a hunting and outdoor venue on Stoner Creek in Bourbon County.

The name Oscar Diggs was an oblique reference to “The Wizard of Oz,” Quillen said: Oscar Diggs was Professor Marvel in Kansas and became the great and powerful Oz in Emerald City. Quillin said he liked the name.

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Gastro Gnomes chefs Kyle Klatka and Andrew Suthers (left) collaborate with Ralph and Donna Quillin’s Oscar Diggs at 155 North Limestone Street. Both chefs moved on to other projects. Now the restaurant will also be closed. Matt Goins

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Oscar Diggs on Limestone in the former Merit Furniture building will open just after the New Year, with food from chefs Gastro Gnomes and beer from Rooster Brewing in Paris. Matt Goins Herald Leader

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