Family-owned and operated Momma Rabbit’s Nibbles and Sips in Lexington’s McCauley Square has officially expanded its store front. Customers were first able to experience the additional dining area in mid-October.

According to co-owner Sarah Grace Allen, the decision for the expansion largely came from the increasingly long wait times. The neighboring business, Anytime Fitness, closed its doors more than a year ago and Momma Rabbit's purchased the facility. Rather than lease the space, they decided to utilize it for the restaurant.

“It was a long time coming. It’ll be able to give us a little more room to breathe,” Allen said. “We’re very, very thankful and blessed that we’ve been able to put it to use.”

The restaurant’s expansion has now allowed it to double in size, and features a new virtual skylight made by Interscene. Allen said the light can be changed to adjust the brightness, reflect different types of weather and a distant sun or moon.

One of the owners' main goals was to create an outdoor feel in the new room, as though customers are eating "al fresco in Momma Rabbit's garden," according to Allen. The design includes party tables under a moss-covered "potting shed" roof, a handmade wattle fence surrounding a "secret garden" area, and a handmade gourd chandelier. She said guests have already been packing out the new space.

“The Sunday we opened the other side, brunch, it was our busiest shift in our history. Both sides were completely full and I still had a 45 minute wait,” she said.

Allen joked that regulars have already expressed how even more space may be required, saying “Y'all need to expand again.”

The restaurant sells American eclectic food with both Southern and German influences. Allen and her seven brothers are all co-owners of the business.

She said they chose Oct. 12 as the expansion debut date to commemorate what would have been their grandmother, Momma Rabbit's, 92nd birthday.

More information about the business is available at mommarabbits.com.

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