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Roadside restaurants emerged because motorists needed food just as much as their cars needed gasoline.  Sanders Court and Cafe, U.S. 25, Corbin. Colonel Harlan Sanders perfected his Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe in this building, which was a combined motor court motel, cafe and gas station. Eating outside of the home was not an entirely new concept, since dining establishments could be found in hotels and along Main Street.  The roadside restaurant distinguished itself from other eateries by being quick, convenient and accessible.  Automobile travelers could avoid the more formal downtown restaurants, but still enjoy a reliable meal without having to pack their own food.  A variety of different roadside restaurants began to address the motorists needs.  Family-style restaurants, walk-up food stands and drive-in restaurants were developed on the outskirts of town along the highway to serve Kentucky’s motoring public.  Attracting the auto traveler’s attention through the restaurant’s architecture became a significant way of communicating their presence in a sea of roadside dining establishments. 


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Last Updated 3/14/2008