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Dining Services

The Rafskeller

The menu at the “Raf" includes lunch and plenty of choices for mid-day snacks. Its location in the Mitchell Fine Arts Center is perfect for stopping in to eat and talk with professors, grabbing some food for the road, chatting with friends, and watching TV.


Enjoy traditional grill items for lunch, including burgers, grilled cheese, grilled chicken, chicken strips, and fries. Or you might prefer a personal pan pizza or a made-to-order sub sandwich. During the cool-weather months, you can choose from homemade chili or a different soup every day. The grab-and-go coolers offer salads, cold sandwiches, and drinks. And there’s always a basket of fresh fruit.

The Raf is open from 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Fridays.

Snack time?

As if the food selection isn't enough, what makes The Rafskeller so unique? Here's a little bit of trivia for you.

The Rafskeller was named after Constantine Rafinesque, a professor of botany, natural history, and modern languages at Transylvania from 1819-26 who published scientific names for over 6,700 species of plants and hundreds of animals and identified 148 prehistoric Indian sites in Kentucky. Constantine RafinesqueLegend has it that Rafinesque was frequently absent from his classes, and the University fired him. Rafinesque left Lexington, cursing the university and its president, Horace Holley. In 1827, Holley died of yellow fever and in 1829, the main building on campus (then located in Gratz Park) burned to the ground. Despite his stormy departure, Rafinesque holds a place of honor in Transylvania’s history and is now entombed in Old Morrison, the administration building.

Two other legends associated with the Raf have to do with the wood partitions that divide the eating areas.

The first says that a former Transylvania trustee donated them. The wood was taken from his barn before it was demolished because he wanted the students to appreciate the rural roots of the Bluegrass state.

The second rumor says that the partitions came out of the very first Long John Silvers Restaurant, which happened to be right here in Lexington, Kentucky.

Which is the true story? We'll just let you decide.


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