Is it a bar? Is it a casual restaurant?  Is it a Southern restaurant? Is it upscale dining? Is it a live music venue? Is it a BBQ Joint?  The answer is YES to all.


J. Render’s BBQ concept started on a summer day back in 2011 while Ren and I were sitting on our back patio. Our original vision was to start a catering business, and I think most of you are familiar with the story. We ended up purchasing a food truck to serve as our commercial kitchen and that was how J. Render’s BBQ Food Truck was born in 2012.  Ren and I worked steadily to build our food truck and catering business over the next 4 years. The next logical step was to open a brick & mortar, and this was when J. Render’s Southern Table & Bar was conceived.


Why the change in our name?  

Our plans were so much bigger than just a BBQ joint – no offense to the great BBQ joints across the US.  We are a BBQ joint but we wanted to be so much more as well. We love bbq and our roots are deeply ingrained in all things bbq and in smoked meats. Even with the food truck, we liked to think outside the box and come up with inventive sandwiches and our personal take on Southern classics. With the truck we were somewhat limited in how creative we could be, but once the brick & mortar opened, the chains were off! 


Are we a bar? 

Oh, Yeah.  When you first walk into J. Render’s, the first thing you see is our amazing bar. Typically, a bbq joint will not have a full bar.  You might be able to get a beer and some forgettable wine, but not at J. Render’s. We have a large bourbon selection, really nice wines, domestic & craft beer and every cocktail you could imagine just waiting to be sampled. This may come as a shock, but Ren and I do love a cocktail before dinner so we both wholeheartedly agreed that we would not open a restaurant without a full bar.

J. Render's bar

Full Bar at J. Render’s Southern Table in Lexington, KY

Are we a Southern restaurant?

Yes.  With the brick & mortar, we were able to expand our menu from our food truck offerings. We added Southern classics such as meatloaf and fried chicken. We continued to serve our Collard Greens (which have a following of their own), Baked Beans, Smoked Mac & Cheese, Cole Slaw, Potato Salad and we have added even more side choices. We also added salads and I have to say interesting salads to boot. We added fries, onion rings, wings, roasted brussels sprouts and too many new sides and dishes to mention. On top of it, we put on our creative hats and introduced a unique Fried Green Tomato appetizer, Fried Baby Back Ribs and Oh No Balls.  

Are we a casual restaurant?  

Yes.  The food truck has its share of interesting offerings such as the Quesadilla, Oh No You Didn’t, Not Your Momma’s Meatloaf, Render’s Reuben, Havana Day Dreamin’ Cubano, Big Red’s Burrito, and the Smokehouse French Dip.  The brick & mortar continues to serve all of these, plus we added a to die for Hamburger, Chicken Sandwich (that we think rivals some of the best out there), Smoked Cheddar Bacon Fries, Pretzel & Beer Cheese & Shrimp & Grit Cakes. We also offer Sunday Brunch with our version of classics such as Eggs Benedict and a Breakfast Burrito along with other brunch favorites.

Brunch at J. Render’s

Are we an upscale dining restaurant?

Sometimes. On top of the interesting menu items, we also routinely host paired dinners whether it’s with beer, wine, bourbon or cider. We develop a unique coursed menu and provide a fine dining experience that you would never expect from our our little spot in Beaumont. We also offer weekend specials so even if you are a regular customer, you can branch out and enjoy different dishes whether it’s Smoked Meatballs & Marinara, a Shrimp Boil or Filet Mignon.  

Are we a live music venue?

Yep. Back in 2015 when the concept of J. Render’s Southern Table & Bar was swimming around in our heads, we initially wanted to focus on offering live jazz and blues. Once we started booking artists we found such a plethora of great music in Lexington that we expanded to include all genres. 

Are we a BBQ joint?

Kinda. The decor is different from what you might expect. It is, to put it plainly, a restaurant that Ren and I would enjoy hanging out in. It’s comfortable with warm colors, real dishes, comfortable chairs & booths. The décor and menu are unexpected if you are expecting a typical bbq place. 

merch - J. Render's Southern Table & Bar - Lexington, KY


So, when you think of J. Render’s from now on, think about all the things we are in addition to our bbq roots. We pride ourselves on building a restaurant that welcomes strangers as friends, whose employees are viewed as family, where we can serve the bbq we love along with Southern classics and all the crazy inventive dishes we dream up.  We would love to be your go-to spot for southern fare, inventive dishes, classic bbq, coursed & paired menus, weekend specials, a cocktail or two, and live music. 

~Gwyn Everly