Big John and Dagwood's Restaurant

Share your bourbon related travel stories with us here.

Moderators: Brewer, brendaj

Big John and Dagwood's Restaurant

Unread postby brendaj » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:17 pm

Folks,
It saddens me to post this, but Dagwood's is now a Mexican Restaurant. Not really, Dagwood's is closed. Has been for several months. But I was in Bardstown on Friday, and as I left the bank I noticed the Dagwood's awnings are no more.

To most it probably won't matter. But, there are several people here that have been to Bardstown. And most have eaten at Dagwood's. Who didn't try the Bourbon Strip steak, that came out flaming on a barrel stave?... :D

Here's a story that really needs tellin'... :lol:
John Hall (Big John, of Big John's Sprinkles fame) and his wife Carol opened Dagwood's I'm not sure when, early 80's maybe? Back in the mid 80's, I used to stumble in the back-door at Dagwood's after closing the Talbott's bar at midnight or 1:00am (my second job). No mistake, it wasn't open to the public at that time. I would rap on the door and someone would peep out to see who it was. People that worked in the industry, or community leaders were welcome. The guest list at any one time included judges, lawyers, bar workers, and always Big John. John was a great big bear of a guy and the original Bourbon Chef. He understood spices and could make just incredible soup. He used Bourbon in lots of his recipes, and my gawd he could cook.

The people at these late night soirees all shared two things in common. We all loved Bourbon, and we all loved Bardstown.

In the late 80's, Steve Lowery took over as editor at the Kentucky Standard (my first job), and a small Bourbon drinkers group began. Along the way, John Lindsey began stopping in on the way home from Maker's Mark. Mr. Lindsey and his crew at Doe Anderson were responsible for some of Maker's Mark's most memorable advertising.

It was this group of folks that proposed the first Bourbon tasting. Truthfully, it was originally directed at the media. They wanted to attract media to Bardstown from all over the world. I think they have achieved their goal, because this was the beginning of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival.

So although Big John and his wife Carol have passed on, and their restaurant has closed, Bardstown is still benefitting from John's love of Elijah Craig... :wink:
As a Kentuckian, I consider it my civic duty to drink Bourbon, smoke and bet the ponies. Its a tuff job, but someone has to do it...
User avatar
brendaj
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 8:46 pm
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Unread postby EllenJ » Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:45 am

That was beautiful, Brendi

See folks? Da goil can do more den just smile purty 'n take pictchas.

If you're comin' up fer NewYear's, bring a few oak planks with ya.
We'll see what we can do.

P.S. - Who's running the Mexican restaurant? Anyone you know? Dagwoods fans should make a point to patronize the new place and show support; they're probably gonna need it. And besides, bourbon goes better with Mexican food than tequila ever did anyway.

Hmmmm, Carne con Elijah Craig, en una pentagrama de llamas...
=JOHN=
(the "Jaye" part of "L 'n' J dot com")
http://www.ellenjaye.com
User avatar
EllenJ
Registered User
 
Posts: 867
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: Ohio-occupied Northern Kentucky (Cincinnati)

Unread postby brendaj » Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:15 pm

Hey John,
I'm not sure who's running the new Mexican restaurant, but I'll check it out the next time I'm in town. Bardstown already had two pretty nice Mexican restaurants, another that was ok, and then there's the Taco Bell... :? Seems like an abundance of Mexican to me. I'd like to see more Asian (Japanese would be too much to hope for), a good BBQ place or maybe a decent seafood place They lost Bryan's BBQ a couple of years ago. So, the eateries around the Festival grounds are disappearing. The new stuff is opening east of town toward Springfield (think new WalMart).

Ya know, I'd be delighted to bring some staves with me but, I pretty much don't have any left. I'm no longer next-door to Barton's, with friends driving back and forth in pickups. I don't have access to the saw equipment I had at the old apartment. Basically, when I finish off the chunks I have, I'm just going to have to give up on the barrelwood and burn hickory...makes me sad :cry:
As a Kentuckian, I consider it my civic duty to drink Bourbon, smoke and bet the ponies. Its a tuff job, but someone has to do it...
User avatar
brendaj
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 8:46 pm
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Unread postby angelshare » Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:39 pm

We loved Dagwood's! In our whiskey room, there is a photo of Dave sitting at the tiny (three seat?) bar with some of the kitchen/wait staff in May, 1998. They made us feel so welcome! In September, 2004, when we visited during the Festival, our waitress remembered us from six years before!

Hope the Mexican restaurant that took it's place has a sense of heritage.

Four Roses Fajitas?
Evan Williams Enchiladas?
Barton Burritos?
Dave & Tina
angelshare
Registered User
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:09 pm
Location: Luray, VA

Unread postby TNbourbon » Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:31 pm

brendaj wrote:...Bardstown already had two pretty nice Mexican restaurants, another that was ok, and then there's the Taco Bell... :? Seems like an abundance of Mexican to me. I'd like to see more Asian (Japanese would be too much to hope for), a good BBQ place or maybe a decent seafood place They lost Bryan's BBQ a couple of years ago...

Brenda, you make me feel downright cosmopolitan -- we have all of these (sans, alas, seafood -- fresh, anyway!) in abudance here in my little c. 35,000 population home. There are, even, a couple of Dagwood-type places that hang one. Who knows how long?
Nothing like the vicissitudes of others to make one count one's blessings, huh?
TNbourbon
Registered User
 
Posts: 430
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2004 10:11 pm

Unread postby cowdery » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:52 am

Some of the best Tex-Mex food I've ever eaten has been in Bardstown and some of the worst Tex-Mex food I've ever eaten has also been in Bardstown. I look forward to learning which camp moved downtown.

I liked Dagwood's, but it got pretty awful there toward the end and deserved to be put out of its misery.

Bryans Hog Wild Barbecue was a big loss for Bardstown, especially since the neighbors ran them out complaining about the smoke. It's worth a drive to their new location at the Lebanon Junction exit of I-65.

It always amazes me that Bardstown, for all its pretensions to being a tourism mecca, has such a poor tourism infrastructure, especially downtown. The thing that's most lacking there is good country food. That wasn't exactly Dagwood's niche, but they were a good complement to Kurtz's and the Talbot. Hurst's is okay but, goodness gracious, they don't even have grits on the breakfast menu.

At least there's still Tom Pigs.
- Chuck Cowdery

Author of Bourbon, Straight
User avatar
cowdery
Registered User
 
Posts: 1586
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 1:07 pm
Location: Chicago


Return to Bourbon Expeditions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest