In up-and-coming neighbourhoods across Lexington, abandoned factories and tobacco barns are being reborn as ventures like printing presses, bike shops and farmers' markets. The biggest such project is the Bread Box, which was home to the Holsum Bakery in the early 1900s. Located in the Northside neighbourhood, it launched last summer when a group of entrepreneurial friends decided their hometown badly needed a microbrewery.
Now instead of bread, the scent of hops and barley fills the airy West Sixth Brewing taproom and beer garden, where I join the after-work crowd for a Deliberation Amber. Poking around the 90,000-square-foot factory, you'll find surprising new businesses, like an aquaponic fish farm that raises tilapia, courtesy of FoodChain, a non-profit promoting urban agriculture. (The indefatigable chef Ouita Michel serves up the fresh "catch" in a fish 'n' chips shop that recently opened beside the brewery.) For a different kind of Lexington derby, the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky (ROCK) keep a practice space in the building.