The date was August 26, 1994. A man who had a passion for cooking and his wife who had some experience with the restaurant world opened their own restaurant. They had no idea that this eatery on the bayou would not only become part of their family, but it would actually create families. All the way up through March 26, 2012, when it was re-established, the common theme at The Knotty Pine on the Bayou has been family.
The Knotty Pine on the Bayou is owned by John and Kathy Caufield, who have familial ties to Ft. Thomas. I interviewed John and Kathy to find out what makes their restaurant so successful.
The restaurant moved locations in March. Its current location is at 6302 Licking Pike in Cold Spring, Kentucky. I asked John and Kathy to explain to me why the restaurant had to move.
They explained, “There was extensive structural damage to the building. As of November 2011 we had to make the difficult decision to notify our staff that the restaurant would be closing in just two days. It was obviously a tough time, because we did not want to take the employees' job away right in the middle of Christmas season, but we didn't have a choice.”
I acknowledged the fact how fortunate they were that Clines on the River had just gone up for sale at the same time that their original restaurant was being shut down.
Kathy said, “It really was a true blessing the way things worked out. When the announcement was made that the restaurant was going to be shut down we really saw how amazing our customers and staff truly are; they were making offers to help any way they could. After we officially made the move into our current building every single employee came back, along with our loyal customers. We are a family in this restaurant and going through the move only solidified that fact with John and me.”
I asked both of the owners what they liked most about owning and operating their own restaurant?
John answered, “I really enjoy being self employed and being my own boss. The work in general is fantastic; interacting with our loyal customers, and of course our outstanding staff. Our staff is like our extended family.”
Kathy said, “The best part of being a part of The Knotty Pine is being able to work with this staff. They are just like our family, and they make this restaurant what it is.”
I immediately saw that these owners truly do treat their employees like family. During the interview there were people prepping the restaurant for business that night which prompted Kathy to point out the undeniable facts about this “family”.
She said, “We have had engagements of co-workers and their subsequent weddings and children.” As she and John both grinned, she continued, “This is the biggest dysfunctional family in the area!”
It is a unique place because of the family atmosphere, both literally and figuratively. It is a special restaurant that is led by two of the most genuine people I have ever spoken with.
I recommend you take your family to see their “family”, and try highly touted sampler! The bayou is beckoning.