Rooster Run founder dies

-A A +A

Landmark News Service

The Nelson County native whose hats went round the world died the day after Christmas.

Joe Evans, who opened the original Rooster Run, retired about 10 years ago, but the store that he made famous remains on Ky. 245, along with the giant fiberglass rooster named Ozzie Frank.

Evans opened his first store when he was still a teenager in a rented building near the railroad tracks in Samuels named Evans Beverage Depot. About five or seven years later, he moved to another location along old Ky. 245, now called Samuels Loop Road.

“It was an old building, but it really prospered,” recalled his baby sister, Terri Osbourne.

The store in Deatsville was a popular hangout for local guys and was located near an area called Hen Peck.

As the story goes, the men’s wives would call up to the store looking for them, and they would often hurry home, hoping they weren’t in too much trouble.

“Joe would say ‘Watch those roosters run,’ ” Osbourne said.

And so a Nelson County landmark was born. Rooster Run quickly became famous, especially for its billed hats, and by the 1980s they were sought across the country and the globe.