It’s All Good at Saul Good Pub


The 2008 Lexington new restaurant development scene is off to a great start with the recent opening of Saul Good Pub (www.saulgoodpub.com), located at 3801 Mall Road in the newer developed area of Fayette Mall near the CineMark theaters. The owner and creator of the concept, Rob Perez, wanted to open a “pub for women,” knowing that, according to industry research, approximately 76 percent of dining out decisions are made by women. Therefore, he set out to create a casual pub concept geared toward that group. However, this is a journey that began a long time ago.
About 20 years ago, Rob was a 19-year-old California farm boy who decided that farming was not for him. He applied for a server job at a local restaurant, thinking that it was a job cooking and dishing food. He got the job but immediately learned that a “server” in a restaurant meant waiting on tables and more. As he got over that surprise, one of the first people he met was a pretty 17-year-old hostess named Diane. Later they married, and today, his wife is very involved in his new venture. Over the next 20 or so years, he progressed in his career, working for Hard Rock Caf√à in its early growth years, Walt Disney Corporation with the launch of its ESPN Zone concept, and Copelands in New Orleans. After that there was a four-year stint with local Applebee’s franchisee Thomas & King. Then Rob made the decision to launch his own concept.
During his 20 years of starting out as a server and then working with some of the most prestigious brands and companies in the industry, he was slowly picking up nuggets of knowledge that he could apply in the creation of a new concept. The name, Saul Good, he initially envisioned for another concept and hung on to the idea. As he conceptualized the idea of a “pub for women,” he further developed the story around the fictional character Saul Good as the son of a jeweler who wanted to open a restaurant.
His wife, Diane, was in charge of the interior d√àcor of the restaurant, and the results are a wonderful blend of what I would term “casual classy,” befitting the fictional character and the target market. Something else Rob did was reach out to many in the community to get advice and other assistance to launch his venture. Having been a sponsor for a Women Lead-ing Kentucky program (www.women leadingky.com ) he asked for some research assistance for his concept. He worked with Janet Holloway and others to develop a survey, the results of which helped him refine his marketing message to his target market. Then, after many months, he was finally ready to pull the trigger and open Saul Good Pub.
Having been to the restaurant three times now, I can tell you it is serious about being a pub and serious about great food and great service. A key human resource decision was the recruitment of Jeff Mayer to be chef and operating partner. Mayer is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has worked in the Adam’s Mark Hotel, Walt Disney Resort, and more recently as executive chef of the Embassy Suites in Lexington.
The food menu is a neat combination of appetizers, cosmopolitan-style thin crust pizza, salads, burgers and sandwiches, including a wonderful Szechwan steak sandwich. Additionally, there is a unique item called Saul’s Special Chicken and Waffles. If you are up for something great and different, this is it. Then there are the desserts! As one might expect at a concept targeted to women, this pub has chocolate in numerous forms, including chocolate fondue from its chocolate bar, chocolate popcorn and a chocolate beer float (Yes, you read that correctly.).
And then, last but not least, is the pub’s drink menu. Saul Good Pub has a fine selection of domestic and imported beers and wines. It also has a great line-up of specialty drinks, including a pomegranate cosmo and their vodka martini, garnished with a grilled lemon and an olive. For both gals and guys, this concept is a winner, and I encourage you to drop by.

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