• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Graviss to sell McDonald’s Mum on political plans


JOE GRAVISS plans to sell the nine Central Kentucky McDonald’s he owns next week to a Lexington businessman who already owns 14 of them. Graviss, 55, is a longtime benefactor of area charities, and purchased this bike rack in front of the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce. He would not discuss talk of him running for the state representative seat presently held by James Kay, who himself is considering a run for Woodford Judge-Executive if Judge-Executive John Coyle retires next year.

Joe Graviss could have a deal finalized within a week to sell the nine McDonald’s restaurants he owns, including one in Versailles.

Graviss, 55, told The Sun that he’d been casually talking for years with his wife, Debbie about selling the businesses, the proceeds of which have helped fund many local charities. About six months ago, they began discussing the matter more seriously, and the next morning, his accountant asked him whether he’d thought of selling them – because he knew of a potential buyer.

Graviss called the timing a sign of divine intervention and a big-time reassurance.

Graviss said the buyer is Gist Heinrich of Lexington, whom he said already owns 14 McDonald’s. Graviss said they hope to close on the deal next Wednesday.

Graviss said all but three of his approximately 650 employees will keep their jobs.

He wouldn’t discuss talk of him running for the state of state Rep. James Kay, a Democrat considering a run for Woodford Judge-Executive if present Judge-Executive John Coyle retires next year.

“I am fully committed to Woodford County, Kentucky, community service, giving back, helping, and I am not retiring from life. I am entering a full-time service type of role that won’t have the distractions of nine McDonald’s restaurant,” Graviss said. “I hope to still be able to give back to my communities with time and talent -- I just won’t have as much treasure.”

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