Revitalization project in the works for Eddyville Mall

Many of you have memories of visiting the West Kentucky Factory Outlet in Eddyville. It was a success in the 1990s, but now the mall is empty. Two local business owners are trying to make it a destination again.

What was once a thriving attraction sits almost empty except for a few businesses, including Corner BBQ.

"We used to sit here and shop all the time," said frequent visitor to the mall John Medlock. 

On Wednesday, Medlock sat inside Corner BBQ remembering what the mall used to be with Eddyville local Julia Jacobs.

"I hate to see it sitting here like this, and deteriorating when it shouldn’t be," Medlock said.

Seeing potential for the mall and wanting to market the area’s history in moonshine, business consultant Daniel Thompson approached Corner BBQ owner and mall property manager Eric Vinson with an idea.

"When someone thinks barbecue, they think beer automatically. When someone thinks Kentucky, they think moonshine automatically. So, it was just a good fit," said Daniel Thompson.

They started Moonshine, Beer and BBQ Company, and will use that name to move Corner BBQ into a bigger space and add a moonshine museum, brewery and distillery in the mall.

"We want to revitalize the mall, revitalize the county and get more tourists in here," Vinson said.

With the barbecue restaurant, distillery and museum, Vinson says they’ll create 100 jobs. On top of that, they hope to fill empty spaces in the mall with other businesses.

There’s a lot of work ahead, but change is coming.

"You can’t imagine how much we’d love to see it come back," said Jacobs.

People in the area are welcoming that change.

Lyon County released the results of a visitor’s survey in May. It said the county needs more of an identity and better marketing. Vinson and Thompson hope their project will fill those needs.

There is no date set for the project’s completion yet. Vinson says it just got its first round of investors, and design plans and a marketing strategy are in the works. The business partners wouldn’t give an exact cost, but say it is a multimillion-dollar project.

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