Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


July 14, 2013

Tim Preston: 'Black Sunday' today; Randy returns; and vineyard dining: 07/14/13

ASHLAND — Today has been dubbed “Black Sunday” by organizers of a tribute to late local broadcaster Chuck Black. The event also serves as a fundraiser for his charity of choice — St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Black made a huge impact for many musicians in the area, as well as opening the studio doors for some of the finest radio talent available, and I hope the event is a success. The afternoon of live music and fundraising was put together by singer/songwriter Eddie Riffe and Tal Callihan, who is also a musician in addition to being the owner of Callihan’s American Pub & Grill, where the tribute will be. The day promises to provide some outstanding musical entertainment and I hope we see a lot of Black’s friends and supporters there.

I spent a few minutes with the restaurant owner last week. We also talked about the effect of the recently approved Sunday-sales measure approved in Boyd County allowing his restaurants to serve adult beverages seven days a week. Callihan said he has already noted a significant difference in revenues, and he plans to use the opportunity to better meet the needs of customers who want to enjoy a drink while watching things such as football games or NASCAR races at his eateries.

“Obviously it has helped our business and was something people wanted,” Callihan said. He said he has added “Sunday Sessions” for live music at the restaurant that bears his name, with even more potential to bring crowds to his nearby sports bar and grill, R.J. Kahuna’s.

“Most importantly, this gives us the opportunity to have a real sports bar now, and capitalize on NASCAR and pro football,” he said. “Before, we couldn’t even open on Sundays, but now it has the potential to be one of our better days.”

I asked Callihan about his continued use of the word “potential,” and was surprised at the honesty of his answer that Sunday sales at Kahuna’s could increase revenues by $100,000 per year. “And I would say that would be on the low side,” he said as he considered the estimated increase and the “NFL Sunday Package” he will offer at Kahuna’s. He also said racing could be a big boost for business.

“We were really missing the boat on that as well. I know NASCAR is really popular with a lot of people,” he said, adding nearly every NASCAR race of the season is on a Sunday.

At Callihan’s, the owner said he hopes to grow “Sunday Sessions” into a day “for blues and bluegrass,” although the more he talked the more it became apparent he likes the idea of primarily dedicating Sunday afternoons to traditional and contemporary bluegrass. He pointed out the popularity of Sunday radio and TV programs focused on bluegrass music and I had to agree it might be a good way to go.

As for “Black Sunday,” if you like the idea of listening to some great music performed by a variety of talented musicians who wanted one more chance to say thanks to Chuck Black, come out this afternoon and bring a little something extra to give to St. Jude. For more information, call (606) 585-0586.

Yohe sighting

I was standing near the top of the Port of Ashland during Summer Motion festival and was interested in the reaction along vendor’s row when the giant screen near the stage showed former local television reporter Randy Yohe doing an interview with a festival organizer.

The comments came from everywhere around me, and nearly everything that was said was a testament to how much many local people like the man. The overwhelming sentiment was Yohe should still be on local television, and his former employers were far too hasty when considering his circumstances. One person even stopped dead in his tracks and said something like, “I remember when he came to my house. He sat on the couch and was just like you and me.”

It was an odd statement, but I think it said something significant.

During a downpour a few minutes later, I ducked under a tent behind the stage and there was Yohe, riding the storm out with the rest of us. I was determined to get back up the riverbank despite the rain, but couldn’t imagine not taking the time to catch up with him. He explained the local job market has been a tough nut to crack, but he handed me a business card and explained he is a client development associate for The Barnes Agency of Hurricane.

Yohe said the agency is working to expand its presence, and he was looking forward to helping spread the word about the services the advertising agency offers. If you’d like to know more, shoot Yohe an email at ryohe@jbarnes.com.

Vineyard dining

Someday, I swear I will take my wife to Carter County for a dinner at RockSprings Winery. The nice folks at the vineyard and winery, which is indeed a scenic and relaxing atmosphere, always share their upcoming menu with me and I am always happy to share it with everyone else, even though I never get to actually make it down there to enjoy a meal.

And, I’ll admit one aspect of the menus I especially enjoy is doing research to determine the composition of the sometimes unfamiliar entrees and desserts offered. This time around, I had to look up “Beurre Blanc” and I must say it sounds like something I would certainly enjoy eating.

The winery will have this month’s event on Friday with a wine tasting at 6:30 p.m. and meal at 7. The dinner will begin with Parmesan Crusted Stuffed Mushrooms as an appetizer, followed by a Raspberry and Almond Mixed Green Salad and the entree: Chicken Beurre Blanc with Wild Rice and Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions. Dessert will be Italian Creme Cake.

For more information or to make a reservation, call (606) 923-9085.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.


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