MADISONVILLE, KY (6/13/13)—Over the last year, interest in Madisonville’s downtown district has seen a notable upswing. From renovations and expansions, to the addition of several completely new businesses, it seems as though downtown Madisonville is heading in a truly positive direction. In lending even more steam to this commerce-based momentum, a new, family-owned-and-operated restaurant has announced that they will be both renovating and opening up for business in one of the city’s most well-known locations later this year.
Claiming over a 100 years of existence—16 of which were spent as the host to one of Madisonville’s most memorable restaurants, Bartholomew’s—and sporting the expansive “Montpelier” painting and column/stair set on its southernmost side, the historic edifice at 51 South Main Street is a highly recognizable and unique structure that has, unfortunately, remained all but vacant over the past three-and-a-half years.
However, two ambitious area residents, Terry Green and J.P. Wilson, as well as a silent backer, are currently in the process of renovating the location in order to open a dual-level, family-owned-and-operated restaurant and bar tagged under a straightforward, yet catchy, moniker: 51 On Main Bar & Grill.
With a grand opening slated for August 1st, 2013, as well as a soft opening scheduled several days before, the Sugg Street Post got in contact with co-owner and operatorTerry Green to find out the story behind the business, what kind of food and services they plan to provide, what kind of renovations are underway, how many jobs they look to create, and more.
A longtime Paducah resident and a well-seasoned veteran of the food industry, Green, 34, has been employed in several high-level managerial positions with restaurants such as TGI Friday’s, O’Charley’s, and The Oasis Southwest Grill of Madisonville. Yet, for all his experience in the food world, this will be the first time Green has stepped into the role of co-owner—and it’s a transition he remains both excited and humbled by.
“It was really crazy how this all came together. I came back to Madisonville in April and I walked into [property owner] Joe Thomas’s place, which is where we’re moving in, just to look at some antiques he had for sale,” says Green. “Well, Joe found out what I did and I came in there for the next three months to talk with him. Finally, he asked me if I’d ever considered opening up my own restaurant. I told him that I’d thought about it my whole life. But I come from a family that doesn’t have means. It’s not like I come from a well-to-do family, so it’s kind of like a dream to be opening the large-scale restaurant that we’re working on. It’s all been possible because I found a building partner, J.P., and a silent backer who really believed in what we wanted to do. It’s really the American Dream. It just seems like all the cards have fallen into place. I’m so excited that I can’t see straight. [laughs] Things like this just don’t happen every day. I was jumping up and down in my kitchen last night. [laughs]”
So what kind of food and food-related services can the community expect from 51 On Main? As Green explains, the establishment will offer items like hand-cooked steaks, one to two-inch pork chops, a traditional top-notch lunch menu, a variety of drinks, and much more. Additionally, Green says that they hope to utilize a full-scale smoker, which would simultaneously season and cook ribs, fresh fish, and other dinner specials. Services like carry-out, delivery, and on-location services will also be available through the business.
As far as the new restaurant’s aesthetic goes, Green explains that it will essentially be like two different businesses in one location. As both Green and his fellow co-owner, J.P. Wilson, chose the downtown location partly because of its uniquely historic character and architectural design, many of the building’s original features will be displayed and built upon throughout the ground floor. In addition to removing much of the building’s carpeting, which Green says has revealed a stunning layer of decades-old hard pine flooring, the downstairs dining area will play host to a variety of 100-year-old English made tables and a variety of historic photos linked to our local community’s past. Coupling this atmosphere with what he describes as a high-level of hospitality and a variety of aforementioned entrées, Green says that the restaurant’s services will be somewhat akin to one of our region’s most popular food-related destinations: Patti’s 1880 Settlement in Grand Rivers, KY.
Regarding the second-story, mezzanine-style seating area and bar, Green says that the décor will resemble a more modern and hip lounge, replete with comfy seating and a variety of televised entertainment, such as NFL Sunday Ticket games and UFC matches just to name a few. What’s more, Green says customers wishing to simply dine or hangout on the second floor will be able to do so without any issues thanks to a divider between the bar and the general seating/dining area.
Though Green was reluctant to release the company’s total investment in the downtown district, he did explain that it was “very substantial” and that renovations to the building were reaching over $50,000 in total. Furthermore, Green noted that the restaurant and bar will create between 30 and 40 jobs.
And, truly, the concept of improving upon our community—whether it be creating new commerce or providing a fresh source of entertainment—is what lies at the heart of Green’s vision for the business.
“We really want to be active and engaging when it comes to this community, because we want to be a big part of it,” says Green. “We actually want to have some outdoor events too, like live music and fresh-air dining, which is why we’re currently trying to lease the adjacent, outside portions of the building as well. We’re staying open seven days a week and as late as we can, because we want to be open to the public as much as possible, so on nights that we might find it a little slower we might open things up to more of a ‘night life’ feel upstairs. We’re going to have modern furniture up there, so it will have more of a lounge-style feel, and the second floor is huge. Plus, we want to work with the other restaurants and businesses downtown when we can. We want to collaborate with them as much as possible. You know, at the end of the day, we’re just really happy to be doing this. We love Madisonville. My family loves this town and the people are great here. Now, we have the chance to give that back. That’s something that will make you sleep well at night.”
Want to try some of 51 On Main’s dishes before the grand opening on August 1st? If so, make sure to check them out at Madisonville’s first Friday Night Live event of the season on June 14th in the downtown district.
Interested in employment with 51 On Main? If so, simply pay the location a visit next week and ask about employment options.
Sugg Street Post
Writing/Photos by Luke Short