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Enough televisions to watch any sporting event, especially the Kentucky Wildcats?
Check. After all, the owner is the Wildcats' top celebrity fan. Eat your heart out, Ashley.
A ribeye so tender you can eat it with a fork?
That's Eddie Montgomery's Steakhouse in Harrodsburg. For about 18 months, the progress of the much-anticipated restaurant had been apparent to anyone heading down the 127 Bypass, just south of Harrodsburg. It opened last month and it was my privilege to tour the restaurant with Amy Bryant, who is executive assistant and event planner for Montgomery.
Montgomery, who grew up in Garrard and Boyle counties, had been there earlier in the day but had to leave because of some scheduled concerts.
I had heard through the grapevine that the place was going to be a shrine to the Kentucky Wildcats, but that is not the case. Still there are enough photos of Montgomery to let you know where his allegiance lies. He's on the wall with Kyle Macy and UK women's basketball coach Matt Mitchell, who visited the restaurant on Dec. 29 to speak to the teams participating in the Mercer County Titan Christmas Clash.
The Anderson County Lady Bearcats happened to be there to take part in a breakfast provided by the steakhouse. “It was really nice,” Anderson coach Tony Kays said. “The kids really enjoyed it and some of them got their picture taken with Eddie.”
It fits the description Montgomery and his music partner, Troy Gentry, found on the Montgomery Gentry website: “Seldom have entertainers been identified so closely with their fans, and seldom has the respect and affection run so deep in both directions. They share blue-collar outlooks; sunup-to-sundown work ethics; rootedness in God, country and family; and the ability to celebrate life and endure hardship. It is a relationship few other artists in the often volatile world of show business can boast.”
Or as the slogan of the restaurant says, Montgomery wanted “Something to be proud of.”
He should be. This restaurant, which incorporates a lodge setting, is one of the nicest in which I have ever had the opportunity to lift a fork.
“He always wanted a restaurant,” Bryant said. “He wanted something nice where people could come and have a good dinner and have a good time.”
I ordered the My Town Steak, which was nothing short of excellent, but my wife went all out and go the top of the line ribeye. It really was so tender she could eat it without a knife. The homemade bread was outstanding and let's just say our server earned his tip.
I counted 12 televisions, but there might be more, all tuned to something to do with sports. I failed to get the name of the local artist who was playing onstage that night.
Bryant also noted that the restaurant has a private banquet room, is available for private parties and a VIP area with its own bar. She also noted that some big name acts might pop up on-stage for special events.
Chances are that Eddie Montgomery's popularity as both a country music star and high-profile Wildcat fan will make the steakhouse a major hot spot in central Kentucky. Bryant said the dining area seats approximately 300 people but that reservations are preferred over walk-ins.
While the restaurant is open, the grand opening will come in early March.
And, if you happen to go when the Wildcats are playing, chances are you will be among friends.
After all, this really is Eddie Montgomery's place.
E-mail John Herndon at email@example.com.