Darren Doyle, story:
We've seen it before. A new restaurant opens up in the county, they have a few good dishes and such, but not long down the road they seem to struggle and you see a "for sale" sign in the window. The restaurant business is hard and it's even harder in a small town where everybody knows everyone else.
Walden's BBQ and Bakery (and others) has somehow figured out a way to keep people coming back for more. There's no doubt that they have the BBQ part of it down pat with their specialty dishes and homemade recipes and sauces, but it takes more than that to keep a restaurant going. Part of their magic formula seems to be coming up with new ideas and finding new ways to stay involved in the community.
"We love this small town. I grew up here and went to school here," said co-owner Tina Walden, a 1992 ECHS graduate. She and her husband, Jason lived in Indianapolis for several years before they decided to move back to Edmonson County and start their own business. They're continuing their mission to keep customers returning by keeping things fresh and new.
One of the new additions to the restaurant is a brand new amatuer comedy night, on Thursdays beginning at 6pm, 5pm for ages 16 and under. Tina says the idea was simply to bring more family fun to the county.
"Jason and I attended several family-friendly amatuer comedy shows when we lived in Indiana and we loved it," she said. "There's not really a lot of activities for our kids to do in the county and we just thought it would be a good way to have some good, clean fun. We have lots of funny people come in and out of the restaurant, and we just thought, 'why not try it?'"
The comedy portion is just one improvement the duo is making to their business. They are adding a brand new breakfast buffet on Saturday mornings, beginning at 7am. Tina said they've wanted to do breakfast for a long time, but didn't want to simply copy other restaurants' breakfasts.
"We're taking a unique approach to our breakfast," she said. "Our all-you-can-eat-buffet will feature all homemade items like biscuits and gravy, our shoulder biscuits, donut-shoulder sandwiches, scrambled eggs, a variety of meats, egg casserole, hashbrown casserole, and we're even going to provide a waffle iron for people to make their own hot waffles."
If delicious bbq, loads of laughs, and a brand new breakfast buffet isn't enough for you, then maybe you'll make plans to attend the first annual "Walden's Bluegrass, Beauties, and BBQ" event, scheduled for Saturday, July 29, 2017. The event will feature live music, square dancing, pageants that will be a state fair qualifier, and of course, their delicious dishes.
"We just want to try to help bring more events and entertainment to the county," she added. "We already have our annual BBQ Fest in November, we're adding a yearly benefit for a local family or person in need, and we felt like we needed a summer event, too."
Tina said adding another annual event was challenging because they didn't want to intrude on any other summertime county event, so they feel like the scope of the event and date will not only attract locals, but out-of-towners, too.
"We have lots of folks come see us from the lake and Mammoth Cave," she said. "We just thought it would be better if we offered more things for tourists and our own people, too."
For more information on Walden's Barbeque, located in the Main Street Center (the old Brownsville Elementary building), call 270-597-2001 or visit their Facebook page for more, which is loaded with entertaining videos and daily and weekly specials.