People used to the old Sly Fox bar on North Washington Street are in for a big surprise by its reincarnation as The Fox’s Trail.
The new version of the restaurant at 305 S. Main St. opened recently after the old bar burned down in 2011.
“The difference is night and day,” said owner Linda Lucas. “The Sly Fox was little. If you were short, you didn’t have to duck to walk in. But this place is big. It’s a lot fancier.”
Fancier is right. A huge granite boulder wall splits the restaurant between its family dining room and bar area. Hardwood floors, wooden columns and the rock wall all add up to a spacious, rustic feel.
Then there’s the menu. Lucas said the old place mainly served run-of-the-mill bar food. The Fox’s Trail, on the other hand, serves up a two-page menu complete with steak, seafood, pasta, salads and burgers.
Patrons can order up blue gill, cod, shrimp or clam strips, or go for a porterhouse, ribeye or New York strip steak.
The new look and menu isn’t just a big change for the restaurant. It’s also a big change for its new location — a historic Kokomo building constructed in 1874 as part of an ice-making factory.
Over the last few decades, it fell into disrepair. A gaping hole stood in the northwest wall and the outside concrete was crumbling.
Last year, Beckley Office Equipment, which was using the building for storage, donated it to the city.
“(Beckley’s) knew the mayor’s philosophy about renovating old buildings and bringing them back to life, and they wanted to play a role in that,” said Randy McKay, the city’s director of operations.
He said by the time the city acquired the property, the blighted building actually had a negative assessed value.