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A place where friends gather

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By Doug Ponder

Paula’s Hot Biscuit is a family owned business that is located on 311 West Water Street in Hodgenville. The restaurant serves a special every day with several plate lunches that feature a wide variety of breakfast and lunch food items including bacon, eggs, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, soups, sausage, sandwiches, cakes, pies and more. Paula’s Hot Biscuit also caters to several different events including wedding receptions, birthday parties, anniversary parties and others.

Owner Paula LaRue Varney opened the restaurant in May 1997 after she closed the former Abe’s Market in Hodgenville.

“I decided it would be a fun thing to do and there truly have been some fun times. Back when the restaurant was opened, my wish was that it would become what it is now. I am so fortunate and blessed,” Varney said. “The name was just thought up when I was at Abe’s Market. We all talked about it and after all the names that were suggested, we decided to go with Paula’s Hot Biscuit,”

As far as marketing her business, Varney said that good food and service are key, but that making everyone feel like a friend is just as important.

“I don’t intend for anyone to come in and not feel welcome. We want to speak to everyone and make them feel like they are our friends and family,” Varney said. “Nobody eats alone here unless they want to. We are all about the people and we nurture with our food and friendship.”

Varney said she has had several repeat customers throughout the years and that they have all made a lot of memories and also helped each other.

“If some of our regulars don’t come in at their usual time, I get worried and call them just to make sure they are okay. We also have a lot of high school students who get up early and come here to eat breakfast before school. I call them my biscuit babies,” Varney said. “One lady started coming in on a regular basis after her husband died. She would eat lunch and she enjoyed the fellowship. She later told me that she felt so alone and miserable after her husband died and that we helped her. That’s what we are all about here.”

Paula’s Hot Biscuit has won numerous awards and has been featured in several publications throughout the years including 2004 Restaurant of the Year from the Kentucky Pork Producers, 2012 best non-franchise breakfast restaurant in the Kentucky Living magazine, 2014 best non-franchise winner by the Kentucky Living magazine and it is listed in Gary P. West’s book “Eating Your Way Across Kentucky: 101 Must Places to Eat.”

The restaurant is also active in the community as they hold various fundraising events and other community events. They also host the weekly meeting of the Hodgenville Rotary Club each Thursday. After giving back to the community for so many years, Varney said that the community was there for them when the restaurant was closed for several weeks in July 2015 after it was flooded due to heavy rains.

“People were wanting to help in any way they could,” Varney said. “They supported us while we were closed and they helped us get through it.”

Varney went on to say that the restaurant would not be possible without her staff of Billie McIntyre, Dollie Neagle, Rose Meredith, Kim Rucker, Genoveva Calvillo and Varney’s son, Sam Varney.

The hours for Paula’s Hot Biscuit are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. For more information call 270-358-2237.