Led by executive chef Jonathan Searle, Lockbox uses thoughtful yet simple preparations and cooking techniques in a contemporary setting. The local, high-quality ingredients from around the Bluegrass region shine in seasonal dishes. In his own words, “Cook it well; don’t overthink it; don’t overwork it; and just cook from the heart.”
Designed by Deborah Berke Partners, the Lockbox space highlights historic features like original marble floors, decorative plaster details and large windows. Communal tables in both the dining room and lounge provide opportunities for large groups to dine together, or for individual guests to meet new people while they dine.
The original vault, The Safe, provides an intimate setting for private dining of small groups up to 12. The communal table just outside The Safe seats 14 and is serviced by a separate bar.
Lockbox features rotating exhibitions and original works of contemporary art, like site-specific commission Tomorrow’s Weather.
> Learn more about the 21c Museum Hotel Lexington.
After college, Searle followed his passion for cooking and began his culinary career in 2008 at Lexington staples Dudley’s on Short, Bourbon n’ Toulouse, and Bellini’s. In 2011, Searle joined the team at Proof on Main, the acclaimed restaurant at 21c Museum Hotel Louisville, and quickly rose through the ranks to become Executive Sous Chef. Searle helped the restaurant earn numerous accolades including a place on Bon Appétit magazine’s list of “10 Best Hotels for Food Lovers.”
With a successful tenure at Proof and a strong network of the region’s craft purveyors, Searle returns to Lexington. As the executive chef of Lockbox, his menus highlight simple ingredients, with a nod to Kentucky’s rich Southern heritage and Lexington’s own cultural and agricultural identities.
Food & Beverage Director
Hassenger began her career in hospitality at seventeen, unaware that she had discovered her true passion. She quickly moved from cleaning hotel rooms to a guest-facing position at the front desk for Marriott Hotels in Cincinnati, before relocating to Chicago to pursue food and beverage roles at the downtown Marriott and independently-owned steakhouse restaurant, Kinzie Chophouse.
Hassenger joined the 21c team as a restaurant manager at Metropole in 2014, working her way up to Assistant Food & Beverage Director. She returns to 21c to serve as Food & Beverage Director of Lockbox and is pleased to continue to share her love of food, genuine service, and thought-provoking art with guests and her team.