A couple of weeks ago here at WBKR, I shared a story about Kenny Rogers Roasters and reminisced about the location that was here on Frederica Street in Owensboro for years.  That place was amazing!

However, not everyone missed it. My friend Julia Campbell never ate there. She basically led an unofficial one-woman boycott of Kenny Rogers Roasters because it took over the building where her favorite restaurant sat.  Honestly, I had forgotten about Rax until she mentioned it.  Do you remember Rax Restaurants?

This may help trigger some memories.

Rax billed itself as "Fast Food with Style", but it was essentially, at first, a roast beef place. But, as good as the roast beef was, folks here in Owensboro liked it for other reasons.

Julia, for instance, loved Rax's endless salad bar, which she called "amazing!"  She also gave a special shout out to the "best mini muffins on a salad bar ever."

Here are some comments from a fun History of Owensboro Facebook post. As you can see, Karen Pryor agreed with Julia.

History of Owensboro
History of Owensboro

My friend Chelsea Rice loved the curly straws you could take home. She says, "Only reason I wanted to go there!"

By the way, I noticed that no one mentioned Rax's bizarre menu item called the Taco Pocket. Remember this commercial?

Clearly, Rax, with its roast beef sandwiches, salad bars, baked potatoes, taco pockets, etc,, had a bit of an ongoing identity crisis, but what ultimately happened to the chain? There's no doubt some of my friends still, rather angrily, miss it. My friend Mary Anne Steele still shares Julia's disappointment that Rax closed and made way for Kenny Rogers Roasters.  She says, "I hold a helluva grudge."

So, where did Rax go?

In 2020, the Vlog Brothers shared a video on YouTube in which they claim that Rax was partially undone by its bizarre ad campaign featuring a character called Mr. Delicious.

But here's something that may excite you. Did you know there are still a handful of Rax locations?  According to the Rax website, there are just eight of them left.  Six of them are located in Ohio, where the chain started in the late 60s.  There's another location in Illinois and, guess what?  There's one remaining location here in Kentucky as well!

It's in Harlan!

Google Maps
Google Maps

Rax is still rocking that roast beef too.  The menu still features the Regular Rax, the Deluxe Rax Roast Beef and the King Roast Beef. And, yes! Rax is still serving salads and those big ole baked potatoes.

I think I may be ready for a Rax road trip!  We shared the news with Julia this morning on the show and she is most definitely ready for a road trip too.

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