• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

New restaurants stir up excitement in Midway

Welcoming a new restaurant to downtown Midway stirs up excitement for other local merchants, according to Mayor Grayson Vandegrift. "It's good for all of downtown. It's good for all the restaurants. It kind of reminds people of how many great (dining) options there are in Midway," he said. Vandegrift described North Gratz Street as an area of Midway's downtown with a lot of growth potential. And he's hopeful that J.P. Gibson's decision to open The Brown Barrel/Blind Harry's in a vacant building - once occupied by a distillery - will help revitalize that area of Midway. "I really hope that (restaurant/bar) will take off and they'll do well because I think it'll lead to other things in that area," said Vandegrift. For example, the building formerly occupied by the Robin's Nest would make an excellent location for a microbrewery, and plans are underway to bring a catering business with a café in another vacant building in that area of downtown Midway, Vandegrift said. "Growth is connected," said Vandegrift. "We're going to have 350-plus new workers (at businesses located north of I-64). Many of them are going to try to move to Midway if they can. But if not, they're going to be taking lunch breaks or they're going to be meeting up with families or friends for dinner . and they're going to want to do it right here. "Eventually that growth will lead to a hotel," he said ". We don't want to grow too fast, but cities do have to grow and in growing we're going to become even more autonomous than we already are."

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