As a young student, I was always disappointed that Kentucky JUST missed being one of the original 13 colonies. TECHNICALLY, I guess, it was because it was a part of Virginia. It broke off and entered the union as our 15th state in 1792. And when I was a kid, before my education continued, I thought that all things Kentucky began that year. Of course, now we know that isn't the case.

Multiple establishments that thrive today came into being long before 1792, and a certain Winchester KY establishment is one of them.

The Origins of Hall's on the River

The popular eatery began its life as a tavern in 1781 and was known as Holders Tavern. Its proprietor, Captain John Holder, was a leading defender at the siege of Fort Boonesborough which is about a mile up the Kentucky River from the establishment. And it wasn't just a tavern; Holder also set up a boatyard and a station on this property. I'm not sure what kind of station, but back then I would imagine there weren't very many different KINDS of stations. Maybe it was just a place to stay put.

Anyway, it arrived at its current name via this ownership "lineage":

From Captain John Holder, to Johnny Allman, Carl Johnson, George and Gertrude Hall, Steve Hall, and the current ownership, this location and these owners have inspired many great times and unique food recipes.

Over the years, Hall's has had endured its share of adversity. Situated right on a river, flooding has been an issue on more than one occasion, and yet Hall's on the River always bounces back.

Hall's on the River -- 2024

For me, one of the most appealing aspects of Hall's on the River--besides the menu--is that beautiful location right on the Kentucky River. Recently, the place looked like something you might see in a snow globe.

The Menu at Hall's on the River

But let's get back to that menu. From spectacular-looking bloody Marys and a breakfast hot brown--seriously look at this... southern delicacies kicked up a couple of notches on the lunch menu, it doesn't look like you'll leave Hall's wanting for anything. And what about one of the house specialties...fried banana peppers?

Yes, a full belly will be your goal, but there's so much history in and around Winchester; you owe it to yourself to stick around a while and investigate.

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