KFC back in Berea: Harlan Sanders with roots in Madison County

New KFC in Berea

It’s an exciting time for Berea, as KFC returns. The new Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant officially opened last week just off exit 76 on Paint Lick Road. 

Many will remember the former Berea location of a Kentucky fried chicken in the location that is now Goldstar Chili. Chicken lovers in the area were very sorry to see the restaurant close at the time.

Even though the famous colonel Harland Sanders first restaurant is officially in Corbin, the Colonel has deep roots in the Madison County area.

According to the Facebook page called “Memories and Pictures of Richmond Kentucky” ran by John Lovell of Richmond, before he was known for Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants, Harland Sanders restaurants were called Colonel Drive-Ins. In the 1950s there were three locations in the area Corbin, Richmond, and Mount Sterling.

The Richmond location, is now Bernie’s motorcycle shop on Big Hill Ave. The restaurant reportedly did a gang buster business until I 75 opened between Richmond and Berea, allowing motorist bypass US 25. A few years later the restaurant closed.


  1. My parents had curb service on Big Hill when they bought the place, hence Colonel Drive In. I don’t remember any curb service in Corbin, but don’t know about Mt Sterling. Daddy traveled with the Colonel trying to sell franchises. .

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