Our Story

Get ready, Midway! The Brown Barrel & Blind Harry’s are getting back to the town’s roots.

The Brown Barrel Midway - Fine Dining

The Brown Barrel name was developed in honor of beloved grandfather Winston Eugene Peace. He worked as a cooper making barrels for Bluegrass Cooperage, a division of Brown Forman, for more than 25 years.

Mr. Peace loved to sing, especially to his children and grandchildren sitting on his knees, and “Little Brown Jug” was one of his favorites. Hence, the Brown Barrel was born.

For people not familiar with Midway, it is only fitting the name is deeply connected to the roots of the bourbon industry, which has been a way of life for hundreds of years. beginning in 1865, bourbon was produced and distilled legally in this very spot. The distillery operated under several business names: Buford, Guthrie & Co. 1865-67; A. Buford Distillery 1867-68; Keller Distillery 1868-89; SJ. Greenbaum Distillery 1890-1911; Belle of Anderson Distillery 1912-14; and Midway Distilling Co. 1915-24. The location was destroyed by fire in 1924 and remained closed until 1933 when it was rebuilt and began operating as the Woodford County Distilling Company 1933-40; Park & Tilford Distillery 1941-53; and finally as Schenley Products Distillery until 1959.

Blind Harry’s takes its name from Harry Clay Anderson, an incredible man special to Midway and the surrounding area. On December 5,1938, he said, “There’s always a way if you try.” This quote takes on unique meaning, as Harry was blind. He accomplished the seemingly impossible when he built two houses that are still standing, and occupied, today; one was completed with no assistance. Harry did the carpentry work, made concrete steps, and even built the chimney.

Midway has always been, and continues to be, a wonderful blend of residents, travelers from around the state and country, and tourists hailing from all over the world. By offering fine dining, fast casual options, grab-n-go food, and a retail business, all in one location, The Brown Barrel and Blind Harry’s offers something for everyone, reminiscent of Midway itself.

Our response to the governor’s latest restrictions on restaurants and bars:

  • Our HEATED patio is still open and can seat up to 50 people adhering to social distancing guidelines. Reservations are recommended, but walk-ins are always welcome.
  • We are also offering carryout and curbside service.
  • Free delivery is available within 12 miles of Midway (roughly including Frankfort, Versailles Georgetown and the Masterson Station area of Lexington).
  • See our menu.
  • You can order online at https://buff.ly/2ZJrPUd or call us at (859) 403-2003.
  • Thanksgiving: We are still taking orders and will fulfill all orders already made. You are welcome to dine with us on the patio, but reservations are strongly recommended. Free delivery of your holiday meal is also available. Please call us at (859) 403-2003 to make arrangements.
  • Gift certificates: Don’t forget Brown Barrel Gift Certificates! They make the perfect gift!
  • Package Goods: Our retail store is still open for package goods and more, including a wide variety of liquors, wines and rare custom bourbons.
  • Please help! Our primary concern is that we do NOT want to lay off anyone. Please support us and our servers so they can provide for their families through the holiday season. We NEED you and sincerely appreciate your continued support.
  • Daily Specials: We will continue to offer our daily specials and announce them via social media and our website.
  • We’re Open: Daily from 11AM to 9:30PM and Sundays from 11AM to 9PM.