Kentucky Living Readers’ Choice: Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn is the Best of Kentucky Barbecue

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Kentucky Living readers' votes are in for Kentucky's "Best Ofs", and they say Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn is the best barbecue in Kentucky.

The votes are in from Kentucky Living readers for the best of Kentucky. In March, Kentucky Living asked readers to send in their votes for 18 Kentucky “Best Ofs,” from fishing spot, to antiquing, to barbecue. View the Full list at: http://www.kentuckyliving.com/article.asp?articleid=1492&issueid=257

What Makes Moonlite the Best in Kentucky Barbecue? - Good Food and Family Tradition

Moonlite Bar-B-Q cooks in the old fashioned Kentucky tradition. Placing meats personally selected for quality in their custom built hickory fired pits and cooking them slow and long, giving the meats that distinctive hickory flavor. When you visit Moonlite, you can smell the difference even before you taste the southern style food that has made them legendary.

Back in February, 1963, Catherine and Pappy Bosley bought the Moonlite for $50,000 from Sonnie and Sadie Bertram and J.C. & Betty Stinson. The Bosley's used the 5,000 dollar profit from selling their house to make the down payment, moved in with Catherine's mother and entered the restaurant business with no experience, and little formal education. Then, the Moonlite was a fourteen year old barbecue joint with 30 seats including stools at the counter. He was 48 and she 42, they had five children.

People often ask what led up to buying the Moonlite -

Pappy drove a cab for Veterans Cab Company, and worked at Fleischman’s Distillery. Catherine was a foreman at Glenmore Distillery. It was Pappy’s layoff from Fleischman’s that caused them to reexamine their opportunities. The owners of Moonlite were ready to sell, as they were looking to retire. The restaurant had been around then for 14 years and was well known to the Bosley’s being near Catherine’s mother’s house. •Their five children grew up working next door to the Moonlite at the Big Dipper (a local hamburger joint),

Over the last thirty-five plus years, Moonlite Bar-B-Q has grown into a very special business. In this time of large chains and merged companies Moonlite has grown as a family business. Hugh and Catherine are now passed away, But, four of thier five children and several grandchildren work together to keep things going and growing at a slow, steady rate that now requires a staff of over 120 dedicated members working various facets of the business. These areas now include a 350 seat restaurant, a U.S.D.A. inspected processing plant, an extensive catering department (capable of serving 15 to 15,000 with unparalleled quality and professionalism), a wholesale division serving the region with Barbecue and related products through distributors in a four state area, a busy carryout department, and now publishing a Cookbook (Family Favorites from Moonlite, Recipes That Founded A Kentucky Tradition)available nationally. All this from a thirty seat, roadside restaurant in 1963.

Catherine kept her job at Glenmore until retiring just in case they didn’t make it in the restaurant business…They had no experience but worked hard. Late in her life before she passed away, she finally told her Grandson Patrick Bosley, that, "Moonlite just might make it", but "you should keep your options open just in case."

The secret to Moonlite's Fame has always been two parts: Pappy's and Catherine's tradition of treating customers like friends and family, and cooking food like they did at home.

Tra · di · tion (tre dish´ shen) 1. the handing down orally of stories, beliefs, customs, etc. from generation to generation 2. a long-established custom or practice that has the effect of an unwritten law

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Patrick Bosley
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