If you are too young to remember ordering Cherry Coke’s or phosphates from the local drug store soda fountain, sorry, you missed a great part of the “growing up in America” tradition. You’ve now got two choices: a) ask your grandparents to explain or b) get to Harrodsburg, Kentucky and visit the Kentucky Fudge Company, formerly Dedman’s Drug Store.
The Kentucky Fudge Company; 225 S. Main Street; Harrodsburg, KY 40330; 859.733.0088
Built in 1865, during the Civil War, Dedman’s drug store was founded to serve Harrodsburg, the oldest city west of the Allegheny Mountains. The store was quite the sight for this ‘wild west’ town; complete with large glass storefront, terrazzo entry, oak floors, tin pan ceiling, leaded glass partitions and beautiful cherry cabinets.
As prohibition put an end (not quite) to hard liquors, the drug store added a soda fountain and kids began to come in for refreshing sodas. The drug store closed in 1983 and despite a short stint as an antique store, it was basically unused until 1996 when the James Harrod Trust and Ralph Anderson took possession with the hope to revitalize the space. That saved the building from the wrecking ball, but an operator was needed to bring it back to life.
In 2006, Jennifer and Tim Kazimer wanted a place to showcase their fudge business and Kentucky Fudge Company is the result. Keeping all the wood cabinetry possible, this is a showcase for 19th century retail history, while serving up some of the best 21st century sweets, foods and drinks available in the state.
When we travel, we always love to find that one little place in town, that all the locals gravitate to, and this was the place. Standing in line to place our order, locals were eager to share their favorites.
“Been here before?,” said the woman in front of us. “You’ll want to come back tonight for dinner and try their Meatball Mac & Cheese. It’s so good.”
“And if you’re coming back for dinner,” said the man behind us, “be sure you save room for a Chocolate Coma. If you like chocolate, you’re gonna love it.”
We only had time for lunch, but we loved every minute and every morsel of it. The staff was amazingly friendly, accommodating and attentive. The atmosphere is great and we couldn’t have enjoyed ourselves more if we tried. The food was hot, tasty, presented nicely and brought to our table while we sat enjoying our drinks and taking in all the nostalgia.
Seems everyone else agrees and the Kazimer’s needed to expand, luckily being able to expand into the space next door. This gave them another dining room (where we sat), a small pub and some outdoor dining space. The focal point of the dining room is a wonderful floor to ceiling display of musical instruments, books and bric-a-brac from the days when the place opened. A big leather sofa invites you to take it easy after your meal.
If you’re traveling east-west on I-64 or north-south on I-75, this is worth a 31-mile detour from Lexington, KY. Enjoy a fabulous meal & some great local chatter, but save room for one of their classic desserts. And, although you’ll be stuffed when you leave, you can always take some of their fudge for enjoying later in the day. Bon appetite!
Looking for more to do in Kentucky? You might like these:
Lebanon Kentucky – five don’t miss sites
Indian Raid re-anacted during Bardstown Colonial Days
Boyce General Store
Ten things to do in Bowling Green KY
Corvette Museum with sinkhole
Big adventure on the mountaintops in Evarts, KY
Searching for whitewater and moonbows in Corbin Kentucky
Over the top - climbing and rappelling in Kentucky
Maureen Bardwell and her photojournalist husband Doug love to travel the world in search of those unique, off the beaten track restaurants, bakeries, wineries, and local craft shops. If you’ve got a favorite you’d like to see mentioned here, drop us a line. To get our stories delivered to your inbox, click the RSS feed or the "Subscribe" button above or follow Doug on Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or our blog.