How many times have you had a conversation during which you reminisced about a beloved Owensboro restaurant that is no longer with us.

My family, friends, and I have those discussions all the time.

So I thought I would put it out there and find out what restaurants Owensboroans miss the most.


1. Sir Beef

I cannot find a menu online, but I don't think I have to. I loved Sir Beef. In fact, I don't think a month has gone by since Sir Beef went away that it doesn't come up in at least one conversation. That may be why it's ranked number one.

2. (TIE) Ruby Tuesday's

This casual dining staple thrives everywhere, to this day. But it saw its last Owensboro day many, many YEARS ago. It was part of Towne Square Mall when it was here, but is a stand-alone in all its current locations.

2. (TIE) The Red Barn

Like McDonald's, The Red Barn had mascots--Chicken Hungry, Hamburger Hungry, and Big Fish Hungry--and was located on the corner of Parrish (then 12th Street) and Frederica. There was also a location out on what was once 60 East but is now East 4th Street/ Highway 144. Because of its popularity, we were all surprised it disappeared.

4. The Royce

The other day, I drove down 2nd Street and saw that the old Royce building wasn't even there anymore. It kind of made me sad because that was THE late night joint in Owensboro. Burgers, fries, onion rings, sandwiches, dinners, breakfast. Anytime you wanted any of that, The Royce was ready.

5. (TIE)

It is a six-way tie for fifth place among Tumbleweed (hey, the BUILDING'S still there), Blandford's (my grandfather used to take me there all the time), Jerry's (a classic diner--hot fudge cake, anyone?), Mancino's (here for a short time, but those sandwiches made their mark), Ponderosa (a legendary name in steakhouses), and Taco John's (Barb and I get misty-eyed about Potato Oles).

Other restaurants mentioned include Little T Diner, Rax (Arby's sort of took care of them), Kenny Rogers Roasters, Western Sizzlin' (my introduction to this thing they call a "salad bar"), Captain D's, Shaker's Pizza, Sambo's, Brothers Una Pizza, Eight Ball, Pinocchio's, Millionaire, Farrell's (downtown--another place my grandfather used to take me), Red's Fish House of the South, Mazzio's, House of Canton (when it was on Old Hartford Road--man it was awesome...and those MAI TAIS!), Steak n Shake, Hacienda (the original chain), O'Henry's (my absolute favorite of all of these--that menu, those table jukeboxes), White Castle, Sirloin Stockade (there was a real steakhouse chain boom in the 70s and 80s), Barney's Callas Grill, DDI (classic car hop on Frederica), Cici's Pizza (its departure remains a mystery for the ages), Morrison's, and King's Table (across from the Briarpatch).

That feels pretty comprehensive. Have we left anything out?