NATIONAL JEWELER 33 T he Chevy Chase Inn in Lexington, Kentucky, opened its doors in December 1933, just as Prohibition was coming to an end. Over the years, the bar solidified its spot as the local watering hole, welcoming generation after generation into its low-key, homestyle atmosphere. It was even immortalized in a 2013 book titled “Chevy Chase Inn: Tall Tales and Cold Ales From Lexington’s Oldest Bar,” which chroni- cled its history and shared tales from local patrons. True to its Kentucky heritage, the inn serves up all types of bourbon, even hosting a “Pappy Thanksgiving” one fall to give customers a chance to try top-shelf Pappy Van Winkle bourbon at cost. Like so many well-loved, historic spots acrossAmerica, though, the old bar eventually found itself at risk of being bull- dozed for new development until three men—including one jeweler—stepped in to save it. In 2015, Bill Farmer, owner of Farmer’s Jewelry, and two of his friends bought the 85-year-old bar, saving it from turning into a run-of-the-mill retail space. Like the Chevy Chase Inn, Farmer’s Jewelry has been stitched into Lexington’s neighborhood fabric since 1950, when Bill’s father opened the store on the same block of Euclid Avenue as the inn and a row of retail shops, including the city’s oldest flower shop. “We approached buying Chevy Chase Inn as a chance to save something,” says Farmer, who felt the destruction of the bar would “ruin a lot of memories for a lot of people.” The jeweler, who also serves as a Lexing- ton-Fayette Urban County Council member, was already wearing many hats before deciding to move into the bar business. “Retail drives you to drink,” says Farmer, with a hearty laugh. In all seriousness, though, he notes that both his jewelry business and his bar business have something in common—they are there for people to celebrate and commemorate happy occasions. Lessons learned as a jeweler carry over to his bar business, says Farmer, particularly the art of listening. “If you can listen in retail, you can learn what the customer wants. Same in the bar.” For jewelers looking to branch out into other areas, Farmer advis- es looking for an opportunity (like he had) within an existing local business or interest and being ready when that oppor- tunity presents itself. He warns against stretching oneself too thin or jumping too hastily into the unknown. IN THE HEART OF WINE COUNTRY For California jewelers Steve and Judy Padis, opportuni- ty presented itself in 2004. They purchased property in the Oak Knoll region of California, which is located about an hour north of San Francisco in Napa County, and slowly began building out Padis Vineyards over 15 acres. The couple owns and operates a handful of Padis Jewelry locations around the San Francisco Bay area but also are longtime wine collectors, amassing a stash of more than 10,000 bottles. It was Judy who introduced her husband to the world of wine during the couple’s dates in NapaValley. “I had never really experienced wine tasting,” Steve admits. “It became a passion and as soon as we could afford it, we decided we were going to make our own wines.” caption TK Continued on page 35 Jeweler Bill Farmer Jr. is part owner of the Chevy Chase Inn in Lexington, Kentucky, pictured here in an undated photo. The bar, which opened in 1933, recently got a new neon sign (left) that’s a replica of the original thanks to a Kickstarter campaign. “IF YOU CAN LISTEN IN RETAIL, YOU CAN LEARN WHAT THE CUSTOMER WANTS. SAME IN THE BAR.” —Bill Farmer, Farmer’s Jewelry and part owner of the Chevy Chase Inn