Red's Fish House

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Red's Fish House - Sorgho

Address: 7046 Highway 56, Sorgho, KY

AKA: "The Fish House of the South"

Early Years

Thomas "Red" Saltsman worked in the restaurant business starting in 1943 in the old Ferrell Brothers building in downtown Owensboro. He also cooked at Cornell's before he started his own restaurant in Sorgho around 1957 across the street from its later location. It moved to its more popular spot in 1964.

Red's Picnic

This annual picnic started in 1958 as a way for Red to show his appreciation for his customers at the restaurant and happened for nearly 50 years, until Saltsman's death in 2005. It became a political stump for local and state candidates and during its peak, hosted 1,000 to 1,200 people. Wendell Ford, Mitch McConnell, and every governor since A. B. "Happy" Chandler have attended the picnic. Wallace G. Wilkinson, who was hardly known before the picnic, said that the reception at Red's made him confident that he could win the 1987 governor's race.

The picnic was moved to O'Bryan's Bar & Grill in West Louisville in 2006, moving to Reid's Orchard in 2014, and downtown Owensboro in 2014.

Other Businesses


Steele's Grocery

Whittaker's Grocery


Mama's Table - Opened 2011, closed mid-2014

Pueblo Viejo - Opened Aug 8, 2014