SkyBar joins Lexington’s bar scene

The speakeasy-style bar has attracted students and other community members seeking a new form of late-night entertainment.


Owner Trevor Stores mixes drinks on a hectic Friday night at SkyBar. Once a bartender at the Southern Inn, he bought the space for SkyBar in May 2021. Photo by Jess Kishbaugh, ’24.

Liv Ullman

A new Black-owned business, SkyBar, is changing up Lexington’s bar scene while sitting just a block away from Washington and Lee’s campus. 

Many members of the Washington and Lee community are familiar with Blue Sky, a favorite lunch spot located on the corner of Lee Avenue and West Nelson Street. However, not everyone knows about the new “SkyBar” located underneath the restaurant.

Set up like a speakeasy, patrons of SkyBar enter through a set of stairs leading down to the basement, where they’re met with popular music, a wide array of cushioned seating, a golden ceiling, and of course, the bar itself. 

Skybar is owned and managed by Trevor Stores, a resident of Lexington since the age of 2. He said he’d always wanted to run his own bar. 

Stores originally worked at the Southern Inn as a bartender until he bought the space below Blue Sky in May 2021. He started construction at the beginning of June but didn’t have his first soft openings until January 2022.

Stores said his team ran into difficulties with the renovation and setting up the space. There was a lot of work to get done and materials to bring in. He also said he struggled with finding the right set of staff members and a comprehensive team to help run the business. 

Stores said he wanted SkyBar to be the best it could possibly be, and sometimes it takes time to complete a successful vision. Surprisingly, Stores said, the beverage license wasn’t even the hard part.

Stores also acknowledged that it was difficult to open during a pandemic when many people preferred to stay at home and didn’t want to travel to bars or public restaurants. But he persevered, and as of its official opening in February, SkyBar has joined the list of Black-owned businesses in Lexington.

A few select individuals were welcomed to SkyBar’s soft opening, including Ann Douglas Lott, ’22, who said she loved getting to try SkyBar with a couple of her friends.

“The atmosphere is so colorful and inviting that it doesn’t feel like a basement at all,” she said.

Lott said the soft openings all had their own cocktail menus. She particularly recommended the Gin Daisy and a variety of peanut varieties that SkyBar was testing out.

Connor McNamara, ’24, said he stopped by the SkyBar on a Thursday evening to learn more about Lexington’s new business addition.

“I think it’ll become pretty popular,” he said. “It has a good vibe. The atmosphere felt really inviting, and I loved that they were playing music and had basketball going over on the TV.”

McNamara said he appreciated how Stores made him feel at home.

“Stores was also extremely welcoming, and I loved my Shirley temple,” McNamara said. “It’s really awesome that it’s a space open to underclassmen, as well.”

SkyBar is open to the public Thursdays through Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

SkyBar is also open earlier in the week for private events, and interested parties can contact Stores directly.

Recent offerings have included undergraduate and graduate events and various university club meetings, such as the Washington and Lee Law School’s International Women’s Day trivia night.