LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 23, 2011) -- Like turning 21 or 30, turning 50 is one of those “special” birthdays — a mile marker, a big deal. If you doubt that assertion, just go online or visit the local party supply store and check out all the “Oh, NO, the Big Five-Oh” birthday party decorations. Much of it will be black — black balloons, black coffin-shaped candy dishes, black candles. T-shirts and cards offer a list of how and why your life is either 1) over and done or 2) just beginning (just kidding). There will be a selection of “You know you’re 50 when…” lists that predict horrific changes to one’s body and mind.
But buried among all that gloom and doom, you might find one coffee cup covered with brightly colored rainbows or balloons or butterflies, bravely declaring that “Fifty is Nifty.”
That nifty-50 perspective is the one University of Kentucky Dining Services has adopted to celebrate the 50th “birthday party” of its oldest eatery on campus, K-Lair Grill. The celebration — with free hamburgers and birthday cake — is 2 to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23.
Despite the 50th birthday, don't think of the campus landmark as "old." As a matter of fact, alumni returning to campus may not even recognize the more youthful looking diner.
For one thing, the place has a more hip name — just call it the K Lair now. And the grand old lady got a face-lift — a $40,000 renovation including new wooden flooring, a complete paint job in contemporary colors, brighter lighting, pleasing artwork, new countertops, easy-to-read menu boards, and inviting tables and chairs.
She’s serving fresher, lighter food, too updated salads, fresh vegetables, chicken sandwiches and turkey burgers.
“Students can come to our restaurants and socialize with their friends, they can make new friends, and they can work on their homework," said Scott Henry, executive director of Dining Services. "We want our restaurants to be a destination, a place to be besides the residence hall or library. We do what we can to make all our locations inviting for our campus community, students and employees.”