About Dudley's on Short

Dudley's Restaurant occupied space in Historic Dudley's Square until Oct. 2009. Wanting to be in the heart of downtown and Cheapside district Dudley's made a big move in 2010. With 4 other investors Debbie Long owner of Dudley's Restaurant purchased The Northern Bank Building. Built in 1889 it was one of the most prominent in downtown Lexington. Not only did it face the rear of the courthouse but it marks the beginning of Market Street. That became the entrance to the aristocratic Gratz Park Residential Historic District. It also was the head of Cheapside, originally the Public Square and location of the market House, later the site of Court Days.
Today this wonderful area has once again become the heart of downtown with the renovation of Cheapside park and the permanent home of our popular Farmers Market.

A complete renovation of Dudley's new home started in Aug of 2009. The doors opened in March 2010 to a gorgeous, two story restaurant that continued its award winning creative American cuisine, wine list and service to a steady base of local clientele while making newcomers and visitors feel welcome immediately. 


Chef Mark Richardson

A Pikeville, KY native, Mark Richardson moved to Lexington to attend the University of Kentucky. Changing course just prior to college graduation, Richardson attended the Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts, where he excelled and graduated at the top of his class. After graduation and a stint in Paris, France Mark returned to Lexington to cook for a short time at Emmett’s. Richardson then accepted a position in Scottsdale, Arizona to join the Four Seasons group. With the Four Seasons for nearly 15 years, Mark worked his way up and through locations in Scottsdale and Chicago, becoming Executive Sous at the Four Season Boston and then closing out his Four Season career in San Francisco with 6 and half years as Executive Chef there. He returned back East to New York City, where he spent a year as the Executive Chef at The Carlyle Hotel before accepting the position of executive chef at Dudley’s in October of 2015. 

Owner Debbie Long

Debbie Long's love affair with the hospitality industry emerged after college, when she spent 8 years working in restaurants in Colorado ski towns. In 1981 she and a business partner opened the original Dudley's in Lexington's historic Dudley's Square building. The menu was combination of southern tradition with the fresh, western influence of her time in Colorado. During those early years Dudley's brought a fresh new American cuisine to the palates and plates of Lexingtonians. Debbie ushered in a new era of Dudley's with the 2009 move to the 1889 Northern Bank Building on Short Street in the heart of downtown Lexington. A culinary trailblazer, an astute business woman, and an exemplary hostess, Debbie has been the much-loved face of Dudley’s for all 35 years. .


I want to make an impact,’ he said. “Not only cooking, but in a city like Lexington, where it is such an up-and-coming great food town. I really believe that.”

He has scouted Lexington Farmers Market, which is right across the street on Saturdays, meeting local growers and finding out what is available.

”People ask, ‘Why Lexington?’ ... Well, a lot of reasons,” Richardson said. “I think just the food scene itself in Lexington is getting ready to catch fire and explode. And I want to be part of that, that founding group that really puts Lexington on the map.
— Lexington Herald-Leader
To see Debbie Long in the dining room at Dudley’s on Short, is to see a consummate hostess in her natural surroundings. While greeting guests by name, she seems to know at any given moment, what’s going on at every table. “This has been my life,” she explains. Now, in addition to her broad-based loyal clientele, a new generation is also calling Dudley’s home.
— Horse & Style
Starting in September at the peak of the fall busy season (made so by area horse sales, Keeneland’s fall meet and the Breeders Cup) didn’t make for an easy transition, but he said such a baptism by fire was the best way to learn in a hurry. “I don’t think I’d really want it any other way,” he said. “I liked the action.”
Moving forward, he’s pushing himself and his cooks to lift Dudley’s food to a new level, one that “takes guests on a journey” that inspires an inevitable return. I want to take them on an experience that leaves them craving food to come back to,” he said. “And I want that food to be things they won’t get anywhere else in Lexington.
— Business Lexington