Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

April 20, 2014

Tim Preston: Burgers, beers, nuts and bolts: 4/20/14

Tim Preston
The Independent

ASHLAND — Not long ago I had a wave of email messages from a reader who doesn’t like it when I pass along reports and reviews from others, instead insisting I should only write about places and things from personal experience.

I tried to explain this column is far from being the priority of my day-to-day duties, and that anyone and everyone who eats food is just as qualified as I am when it comes to writing about local restaurants.

Therefore, I will continue to share when someone I know and respect shares their experiences. I’m also aware I sometimes receive what one reader called “the royal treatment,” while visiting area eateries, and I like the idea of having field agents whose identities are unknown.

Add that to the fact I have practically no notes, and almost no time to complete this week’s column, and you get a bit better picture of the way this usually works. Hopefully, the practically random collection of snippets I’m working from will somehow come together. Here we go.

B&B Wednesday

One of my best secret agents filed a report last week after hearing an ad for “Burgers and Beer Wednesday” at Ashland’s Chimney Corner Café.

“I had the Three-Cheese Burger with fries and since my wife doesn’t like beer and are included in the price, I had two of the draft micro brewed beers from Lexington. Both types were robust with definitely more body than your average beer. My wife had the Caribbean Shrimp Burger with onion rings,” our man reported.

“The freshly ground gourmet burger was very tasty and cooked to order. I had mine cooked medium rare, which I would not ask for unless you know the quality and freshness of the meat used. My wife had hers cooked medium, hers was big enough so she had half left to bring home for lunch the next day. They both came from the kitchen as requested. The fries and onion rings were fried to a golden brown and were not oily as in some places. The buns we were told came from a local bakery, not a chain bakery, which validated their taste and texture. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful as well as prompt. In conclusion, for a price tag of under $20 including a 20 percent tip for two delicious gourmet burgers, two sides, two draft beers and a soft drink, you can’t go wrong with the Wednesday Burger and Beer special at the Chimney Corner!”

For more information about the restaurant at 1624 Carter Ave., call (606) 324-7500.

New in Summit

I also had a message from the guy who often puts our front page together about a new business in the Boyd County community of Summit, “right past Crisps on 716 in the bottom floor of the former medical center.”

He was talking about A New Beginning Hair Studio and Spa, and added, “Her business is new. She’s got a nice setup there. They’re operating now, but their grand opening is April 19.”

I tried to contact the shop, although my timing was apparently bad and I got a message saying I couldn’t leave a message. I did find a Facebook page for A New Beginning Hair Studio and Spa at 1101 Ky. 716, which says the place is “always open,” with services including everything you’d expect from a full-service salon, as well as artistic nail work and therapeutic massage. For more information, call (606) 922-2959.

In Argillite

Another secret-agent report last week came from rural Greenup County.

“Just another best cheeseburger if you have not tried — Brown’s Grocery in Argillite,” he wrote. “Get the double cheeseburger loaded. Five bucks. Enough to eat for a big, big man.”

I talked to a nice girl who answered the phone as I was doing a little turbo-research and she said they do lots of hot-food business, with “chicken, pizzas and everything else” also on their menu. They don’t have special hours for the kitchen, and are essentially ready to make a meal anytime the store is open.

Brown’s Grocery at 8174 Ky. 207 in Argillite is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. For more information, call (606) 473-7648.

Another honor for Gibbs

True Value Co. recently honored husband-and-wife duo C.C. and Julie Gibbs, who own Gibbs True Value Hardware in Grayson, as winners of its seventh annual Best Hardware Store in Town international recognition program.

“Third-generation retailers, the Gibbses bought and took over from C.C.’s uncle in 2003. Today, their winning Grayson store is just one of two Gibbs True Value stores in the region. The couple also has a location in Ashland. But the 16,000-square-foot Grayson store sets itself apart with its format — the first Destination True Value formatted store in the state,” according to a press release from the company.

“The Grayson store’s niche offerings include fireplaces (situated in a comfy ‘inspiration’ area at the front of the store, featuring leather couches and a popcorn machine), outdoor power equipment, and a new assortment of equipment available for public rental in its Just Ask Rental area.”

The Gibbses, who received the 2013 Northeast Kentucky Small Business Association “Small Business of the Year” award, as well as the “Family Owned Small Business of the Year,” have helped me on several occasions when I needed an odd fuse or other hardware. Every time I’ve stopped by, they made my problems their priority and made sure I had everything needed before I left the store.

“One of the nice things about our store is that feeling of knowing everybody. If you walk in here, We probably know your aunt Sally and your uncle Walt,” C.C. said. “As a contractor, I experienced the big boxes all the time, and there’s no personal treatment. It’s emotionless. We strive to do emotion — we are one on one, smiling and genuinely caring. We don’t want to have an empty corporate feeling that I imported everything and not one thing is benefiting my country and community. We’re personal and local.”

For more information, call (606) 325-4681 for the Ashland store or (606) 474-4681 for the Grayson location.

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