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When Only the Best Will Do... Moonlite Bar-B-Q
(February, 1963) Catherine and Pappy Bosley bought the Moonlite for $50,000 from Sonnie and Sadie Bertram and J.C. & Betty Stinson. The Bosley's used the 5,000 dollar profit from selling their house to make the down payment, moved in with Catherine's mother and entered the restaurant business with no experience, and little formal education. Then, the Moonlite was a fourteen year old barbecue joint with 30 seats including stools at the counter. He was 48 and she 42, they had five children.
People often ask what led up to buying the Moonlite
Pappy drove a cab for Veterans Cab Company, and worked at Fleischman's Distillery. Catherine was a foreman at Glenmore Distillery. It was Pappy's layoff from Fleischman's that caused them to reexamine their opportunities. The owners of Moonlite were ready to sell, as they were looking to retire. The restaurant had been around then for 14 years and was well known to the Bosley's being near Catherine's mother's house. Their five children grew up working next door to the Moonlite at the Big Dipper (a local hamburger joint).
Tra. di. tion (tre dish’ shen)
1.The handing down orally of stories, beliefs, customs, etc. from generation to generation
11.A long-established custom or practice that has the effect of an unwritten law
Over the last Fifty two plus years, Moonlite Bar-B-Q has grown into a very special business. In this time of large chains and merged companies Moonlite has grown as a family business. Hugh and Catherine, along with four children and several grandchildren work together to keep things going and growing at a slow, steady rate that now requires a staff of over 120 dedicated members working various facets of the business. These areas now include a 350 seat restaurant, a U.S.D.A. inspected processing plant, an extensive catering department (capable of serving 15 to 15,000 with unparalleled quality and professionalism), a wholesale division serving the region with Barbecue and related products through distributors in a four state area, as well as a busy carryout department. All this from a thirty seat, roadside restaurant in 1963.
Catherine kept her job at Glenmore until retiring just in case they didn't make it in the restaurant business. They had no experience but worked hard. Late in her life before she passed away, she finally claimed that Moonlite just might make it, but I should keep my options open just in case - Pat Bosley grandson.
SHOP ONLINESee All Products
Food museum honors Moonlite The cleaver and butcher knife that Hugh "Pappy" Bosley used to cut up an estimated 250,000 mutton carcasses at his Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn over a 40-year period are now enshrined[…] Read more
What is Mutton? BBQ Meats: What is Mutton? In other parts of the country, most people haven’t even tried mutton. They think it’s tougher and gamier than lamb, so they’ve never been i[…] Read more
Voted Best Barbecue In Kentucky by Kentucky Monthly and Kentucky Living Readers.A Kentucky Tradition since 1963, we cook in the old fashioned Kentucky tradition. We place meats personally selected for quality in our custom built hickory fired pits and cook them slow and long, giving them that distinctive hickory flavor. Read More
In Loving Memory. Hugh "Pappy" Bosley Sr. (1914 - 2003) & Catherine Bosley (1919-2003)"If our children do not gain a sense of mission as they grow up, they may slide into the pews as adults to live their entire lives without experiencing the privilege of God using them in a significant way." Quote carried by Pappy Bosley by Dennis Rainey