Now, when I was a kid, we ate dinner at home most of the time. Going out to eat, unlike today where it's very commonplace and happens frequently, was a special occasion.

And our family had some favorite restaurants--not all of which were in Owensboro.

But that's where we'll start.

One of my dad's oldest friends cooked (I don't know if he was the manager or not) at O'Henry's which was Triplett Street just north of the 18th Street intersection.

It wasn't a very big place, but the food was awesome.

It had lots of booths with miniature jukeboxes at the tables.

There was also Cornell's Restaurant which was actually on the property of the Imperial Motel on Highway 231, now simply called New Hartford Road.

Cornell's was next to where Hometown IGA on 25th is now and had THE BEST chocolate milk I've ever tasted. And I've never found its equal, by the way.

Now out on Highway 60 East was the Dinner Bell Restaurant. In fact the building is still there, next to Hawesway Truck Stop.

Google Street View
Google Street View

I credit the Dinner Bell with my knowledge and love of old early 70s country music because its jukebox was loaded with songs by Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Jerry Reed, Merle Haggard, and Lynn Anderson, among others.

We'd go there after church on Sundays.

That's also when we'd visit The Modern in Reo, Indiana. It was a great little restaurant with a huge buffet and it was always packed.

I can't find anything about it on the Internet now.

But I'd have to say, after polling my family (all of three people, myself included), that our favorite restaurant was Mac's Barbecue in Evansville.

Evansville Public Library/James and Rosemary Geiss Collection
Evansville Public Library/James and Rosemary Geiss Collection

It was behind the big cemetery on Highway 41.

We loved going there.

Great ribs! Great mile-high pie. Great atmosphere.

I think we were most disappointed when that one closed up.

What about you? What are some memorable restaurants from your past that are no longer here?


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