It seems like new and innovative restaurants are popping up all over the place in Kentucky, but did you know that there are several restaurants in the state that have been around for decades? Some are even more than 100 years old! While trying new restaurants is always fun, why not check out one of these 10 restaurants that have seen their fair share of history?
1. Old Talbott Tavern, Bardstown
Built in 1779, the Old Talbott Tavern is the oldest restaurant and bourbon bar in Kentucky. When you stop in to have some fried chicken and a bourbon, remember that many historic figures have stopped here throughout the centuries, such as Stephen Foster, Abraham Lincoln and his family, Jesse James, and King Louis Phillippe during his exile. The Old Talbott Tavern is located at 107 W. Stephen Foster Avenue, Bardstown, KY 40004.
2. The Old Seelbach Bar at Seelbach Hilton Hotel, Louisville
This historic hotel opened in 1905, and is one of the most well-known historic buildings in Kentucky. The bar and restaurant in the Seelbach has seen many famous people from throughout history come through its doors. Al Capone is known to have had secret passageways under the hotel so he could escape if the authorities got wind of his presence. Famous author F. Scott Fitzgerald also used to frequent the Seelbach, and he even set parts of his classic novel "The Great Gatsby" at the hotel. The Old Seelbach Bar is located at 500 S. 4th Street, Louisville, KY 40202.
3. Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant, Berea
Boone Tavern Hotel was built in 1909 to accommodate visitors to nearby Berea College. The likes of the Dalai Lama, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Maya Angelou have visited the tavern. Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant is located at 100 Main Street, Berea, KY 40404.
4. Wallace Station Deli, Versailles
This deli is located in a historic building on one of the most gorgeous roads in Kentucky- Old Frankfort Pike. The building was constructed in the early 1900s, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It started off as a general store and grocery, but it is now owned by well-known Kentucky chef Ouita Michel. Wallace Station Deli is located at 3854 Old Frankfort Pike, Versailles, KY 40383.
5. Beaumont Inn, Harrodsburg
This outstanding restaurant is also the oldest family-operated bed and breakfast country inn, which opened in 1919. The restaurant is known for gourmet Southern cuisine, particularly yellow legged fried chicken. In 2015, they were honored with the James Beard Foundation America's Class Award. Beaumont Inn is located at 638 Beaumont Inn Drive, Harrodsburg, KY 40330.
6. Greyhound Tavern, Fort Mitchell
The Greyhound Tavern opened in 1921 and was originally known as the Dixie Tea Room. The restaurant has changed over the years, but the two original rooms are still there today. The Greyhound Tavern is located at 2500 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell, KY 41017.
7. English Grill at the Brown Hotel, Louisville
Like the Seelbach, The Brown is another historic and well-known hotel in downtown Louisville. It opened in 1923, and three years later in 1926, it had already created a signature dish that would go on to become Kentucky's favorite meal-- the Hot Brown. The Hot Brown was created in the hotel's restaurant, The English Grill, by Fred K. Schmidt, and is an open-faced sandwich with turkey, bacon, and Mornay sauce, and is then baked until the bread is crispy. The English Grill at the Brown Hotel is located at 335 W. Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202.
8. Jack Fry's, Louisville
Jack Fry's opened in 1933 by its namesake, Jack Fry, and his wife, Flossie. This fine dining restaurant has been one of the best eating establishments in Louisville for decades, earning it national recognition. Jack Fry's is located at 1007 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40204.
9. Columbia Steakhouse, Lexington
Columbia Steakhouse has been around since 1948, and holds the title of Lexington's oldest restaurant. It has since expanded to have three locations in Lexington, but the original restaurant still stands at 201 N. Limestone, Lexington, KY 40507.
10. Bob's Drive-In, Paducah
This 1950s-style drive-in has been operating for 61 years. Many of the restaurants on this list are fine dining establishments, but sometimes all you want is a cheeseburger and a banana split that you can eat in your car. That's exactly what you'll get at Bob's, along with feeling like you've stepped into a time machine. Bob's Drive-In is located at 2429 Bridge Street, Paducah, KY 42003.
These restaurants sure have seen a lot of history, and have stood the test of time. What other historic restaurants in Kentucky are there?
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.