KFC, Waffle House Coming to Berea

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From a release from the City of Berea:

New restaurants are coming to Berea this year, including KFC and Waffle House, according to city officials. That development was announced by Director of Business Development and Tourism Donna Angel Monday evening during a meeting of the Berea City Council Economic Development Committee.

The new franchises are to be located close to one another on Kentucky Highway 21, Paint Lick Road, west of interstate exit 76. Angel reported that while the franchisees are currently addressing other details related to their operations in Corbin and Somerset, KFC is definitely coming back to Berea, with construction possibly beginning as early as August.

In other restaurant related news, Angel told the committee she expects an Asian restaurant will open at the former Wings, Etc. location on Jill Drive, and that the space is being divided so that it can house an additional restaurant in the same building.

On the other side of Highway 21, the building site next to Arby’s will be a drive-thru restaurant to be named in the future at an 8,400 square foot building site. That space will also accommodate two commercial businesses in addition to the drive-thru restaurant, Angel reported.

Committee member Ronnie Terrill raised concern about the traffic in the area of that proposed businesses, noting there is significant traffic congestion near the Amish Store, Speedway and Burger King when motorists turn to go toward the Dinner Bell and Arby’s. He suggested the city should work on securing funding to ease traffic congestion at that intersection.

Overall, Angel said 19 new businesses have opened in Berea since the beginning of the year, and more are inquiring about coming to town. New businesses include a possible book store/coffee shop, a new yoga salon, a new car wash, as well as a hair salon and ceramics gallery and studio, among others.  

Additionally, more food trucks are starting to operate in Berea, including one from Kentucky Mountain Deli, which had a brick and mortar operation before the onset of the global pandemic.

“We’ve had a lot of good businesses pop up and we are thrilled to have them all here in Berea,” Angel told the committee.  

Officials report there are also signs of life at exit 77, as there will be a new franchisee taking over the previous Huddle House location, reviving that franchise in Berea. With challenges in hiring restaurant staff, officials predict that restaurant might not open until the fall.