Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All...or not

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Louis
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2010/06/12 14:48:04 (permalink)

Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All...or not

The Bon Ton Mini Mart in Henderson, Kentucky will close by the end of June 2010.  It was supposed to remain open for two more years, but this morning I was surprised to learn that it will not.

The Bon Ton was going to be taken over by their cook, Donna King.  But Mrs. King's health began to fail rather rapidly in the last couple of weeks.  She decided not to take up the lease on the building when it runs out at the end of the month.

The current owner of the Bon Ton is retiring at the end of the month, and he really wants to retire.

As of Monday (June 14th) until the end of the month, the Bon Ton will be only open until two in the afternoon.  There will be some of their famous fried chicken available, but not much, as they don't want to get stuck with any pieces when they close their doors.  Indeed, all of their food items will gradually not exist as they run out of them.

What will become of the fried chicken recipe?  Mrs. King, who owns the famous recipe, and her daughter have talked about selling the Bon Ton's seasoning over the internet, but it's only talk at this point.   You still have to marinate the chicken with the seasoning in a solution (preferably in big buckets) for 24 hours.

If anyone is interested in this recipe and the method in which the chicken is prepared, they would have to talk to Mrs. King or her daughter.

Oh well.  All good things come to an end, and so it is with the Bon Ton Mini Mart.  It is about to become part of America's glorious roadfood culinary past.  The restaurant has given this person many happy memories, and ones that will never be forgotten.  And for that I can only say "Thank You!"


#1

23 Replies Related Threads

    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/12 14:59:52 (permalink)
    Louis, I'm terribly sorry, for all of us but particularly for you because I know that was a big piece of your daily routine.  What are you going to do for a joint?
    #2
    mr chips
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/12 15:00:03 (permalink)
    Sad news. Sorry I never got to eat there.
    #3
    Louis
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/12 15:35:01 (permalink)
    Nancypalooza

    Louis, I'm terribly sorry, for all of us but particularly for you because I know that was a big piece of your daily routine.  What are you going to do for a joint?


    Nancy, I've got a place for my morning coffee already lined up--it's in a church that doubles as a sort of restaurant; it just opened last Monday and hardly anyone knows about it.  It's nice and quiet too.  Just what I want.

    FYI, before there was the Bon Ton for my mornings, I spent ten years going to the Jerry's restaurant chain.  (I only stopped going there when they tore the building down.)  That coffee was to die for!  It really tore the morning cobwebs out of my head.

    Before that it was 14 years of going to the Grandy's fried chicken restaurant chain every morning for coffee.  (That coffee wasn't as good, but it was better than nothing.)  (I left there when they wouldn't turn down their overhead music after I requested it; I couldn't hear myself think--not something I want to listen to that early in the morning when my head is pounding; I need quiet.)

    Before that there was at least 10 years of going to Howard Johnson's every morning until they went out of business.

    Every morning of my adult life (since about 1976) has always started the day in a restaurant with a fork in one hand and a book or magazine in the other.  I've been accustomed to this routine for so long that it would just seem weird to start off the day any other way.

    #4
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/12 15:40:48 (permalink)
    The Roadfood.com review.
    #5
    Ahi Mpls.
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/12 16:34:56 (permalink)
      This is so sad!  I'm sorry to hear of Mrs. King's failing health, Wishing her all the best.     Maybe RF folks could all chip in and buy the place!? There are THOUSANDS of us...it could be the official clubhouse/base command center. with chicken.  
    #6
    carolina bob
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/12 17:09:28 (permalink)
    It's always bad news when a Roadfood restaurant calls it quits, especially one with the passionate following that the Bon-Ton has. This makes me doubly glad that I'm going to be in Henderson later this week and will have a chance to bid a proper farewell to the place ( and get me one last piece of that chicken! )  
    #7
    cecif
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/18 19:11:11 (permalink)
    Thanks for posting the news, Louis!

    I am of course now EXTRA glad I made it there with you and Buffetbuster!!!

    I admit to not having had the fried chicken in KC, but all the same I thought the chicken at Bon Ton was absolutely AMAZING! The best fried chicken of my life. It was a fantastic meal (all of it) and I wish I could go back for more.

    Dang ocean between me and Henderson KY... plus another 6 figures in land miles. Sigh.


    post edited by cecif - 2010/06/18 19:12:18
    #8
    Ralph Melton
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/19 00:13:13 (permalink)
    Alas! We've already made plans to go there in late June--I hope they still have some chicken!
    #9
    Louis
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/19 07:55:51 (permalink)
    Carolina Bob and I walked into the Bon Ton Mini Mart on Thursday morning (June 17).  Everyone was saying that Saturday was going to be their last day of operation.  Everyone was more or less saying their final goodbyes.  They had made arrangements to sell the equipment and everything.

    The next morning, Friday (June 18), Carolina Bob and I walked in there and they said that the realtor had prevailed upon them to keep the restaurant open on a month-to-month basis.  It's all contingent on the cook's health, which is not good.  So they are going to stay open (they hope) for at least another six months.

    This is good news for all of us, but it is frustrating to me because, as I try to keep you posted on daily developments, they tell me one thing one day and then the opposite the next.

    Anyway, it will be open for a few more months, so if you have ever delayed coming here, now is your chance.  No excuses if you don't show up.

    Today Carolina Bob and I may eat there for a third day in a row.

    #10
    mr chips
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/19 08:27:57 (permalink)
    Wow! Almost like a reprieve from the governor. I hope many roadfooders will be able to make it there before the inevitable closure happens.
    #11
    DirtDude
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/19 09:18:57 (permalink)
    That sucks. I was only in Henderson once and I didn't know about Bon Ton at the time. Wish I had made it in there.
    #12
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/19 10:32:17 (permalink)
    Wish I had the monetary means as well as time  to just get up and go. Guess, I'll just have to miss this one.
    #13
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/19 10:36:19 (permalink)
    That Bobbo gets around....
    #14
    Louis
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/20 13:33:15 (permalink)
    I suppose I should start a new thread and call it "Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Remain Open," but after the topsy-turvy events of last week ("we-will-close-no-we-will-not-close-after-all), I think I'll just leave it alone.  As sure as I say something, they'll change their mind again.

    Anyway, here's the current official corroboration that the Bon Ton will remain open from Henderson, Kentucky's local newspaper (dated Sunday, June 20, 2010)--at least for a while.

    http://www.courierpress.c...0/jun/19/bon-ton-will/

    post edited by Louis - 2010/06/20 13:34:16
    #15
    Michael Stern
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/20 15:41:37 (permalink)
    So I won't have to tell the publisher of the 2011 edition of Roadfood to print the Bon Ton entry in disappearing ink!
    #16
    Louis
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2010/06/20 17:33:52 (permalink)
    Michael, it'll be touch and go, depending on Mrs. King's health, but I'd say go ahead and print the Bon Ton's entry for one more year anyway, and then check with me each year afterward.  Who knows?  Maybe the restaurant's longevity will stretch out more than we think it will now.

    #17
    Louis
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2011/05/04 11:42:05 (permalink)
    Almost a year ago, I thought the Bon Ton Mini Mart (Henderson, KY) was going to bite the dust.  On their next to the last day in mid-June, Carolina Bob and I went in there and it was still going to close in two days.
     
    The next morning we went in there to eat one last meal, and they told us that they were not going to close after all.  Things had been worked out so that the cook, Donna King, would become the owner.  It was the culmination of off-again-on-again events that drove me and everyone crazy.
     
    Well, almost a year has gone by and the Bon Ton is operating like it always has.  Nothing has changed.
     
    For those who haven't been there, they were on television recently (April 30).  You can get a good look at the restaurant from the television segment:
     
    They were featured on the "Kentucky Life" program on the Kentucky Educational Network.  They were featured in the first segment.  They interviewed me as well as several other regulars.
     
    http://www.ket.org/cgi-bin/cheetah/watch_video.pl?nola=kkyli+001615&altdir=&template=

    #18
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2011/05/04 12:42:01 (permalink)
    Louis-
    When I saw that this thread had been revivied, I though, "Oh, no, here we go again!"  Glad to see that all is well.  And great job on the video, too.  Although, I think they should have talked about the pies more.
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2011/05/04 12:50:55
    #19
    Ralph Melton
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2011/05/04 12:59:08 (permalink)
    I had the same reaction as buffetbuster; I didn't realize that it was a revival of an old thread until I opened it.
     
    I'm glad to hear that all is well; I quite enjoyed the fried chicken there.
    #20
    Ahi Mpls.
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2011/05/04 21:38:12 (permalink)
     Oh my,  That was WONDERFUL! 
      Ms. Donna is so darling and absolutely HIGH class!  Long long long live the Bon Ton, And thank you Louis for keeping us appraised. 
      Mr. buster,  Did you happen to note the apparent RADISH pie in the makin' ?   
    #21
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2011/05/05 08:49:52 (permalink)
    AHI MPLS Mr. buster,  Did you happen to note the apparent RADISH pie in the makin' ?   
    No reason to be so formal.  Just call me buffet.  I did see that.  Is that what was going on?   

    #22
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2011/05/05 08:55:05 (permalink)
    Louis

    They were featured on the "Kentucky Life" program on the Kentucky Educational Network.  They were featured in the first segment.  They interviewed me as well as several other regulars.

    http://www.ket.org/cgi-bin/cheetah/watch_video.pl?nola=kkyli+001615&altdir=&template=  

    Looks like the Bon Ton is frequented by a bunch of troublemakers and malcontents!
     
    Early in the segment the fellow whose interview follows yours is shown with a bowl of what looks like stew or chili...was it burgoo?
     
    How long does it take to travel between Henderson and Bloomington, Indiana?  My Rand-McNally says it's 134 miles between Bloomington and Evansville and since it appears to be all 2-lane roads I'm thinking it's 2-1/2 hours easy and maybe even 3.
     
    Brad
    post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2011/05/05 08:59:55
    #23
    Louis
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    Re:Bon Ton Mini Mart Will Close After All 2011/05/05 10:09:01 (permalink)
    The Bon Ton doesn't serve burgoo.   They serve chili and vegetable soup.  Once a week they'll serve something unusual like spaghetti or meat loaf or (a few times a year) a great chicken and dumplings recipe.  Actually, their biggest seller is their hamburgers.  A double hamburger has a lot of flavor.
     
    They were serving brains for a while.  Maybe they still are.  That's something I don't even want to think about.  (That's a favorite dish on the west side of Evansville, IN, across the river.)
     
    As to the distance, you're right, Brad.  A 2 and 1/2- to 3-hour trip is about how long it takes to get from Bloomington, IN to Henderson, KY. 
     
    If any roadfooders are ever planning a visit, let me know and I'll show you around.
     
    Louis
     
    post edited by Louis - 2011/05/05 10:13:19
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