Sander's Cafe the First KFC

Eat in a part of History! The restored dining room and kitchen from the Sander’s Cafe rebuilt in 1940 after a fire destroyed the original offers visitors a dining experience like no other.

Meet the Colonel

Harland David Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders or The Colonel founded Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). His image has become the chain’s advertising and packaging trademark known around the world in 80 countries. Born in Henryville, Indiana. His father died when Harland was five years old. As a single parent, his mother worked leaving Sanders to cook for the family. During his early, Sanders cooked chicken dishes and other meals for the family.  During his early years, Sanders worked many jobs.  At the age of 40, Sanders cooked chicken dishes and other meals for people who stopped at his service station in Corbin. At that time he did not have a restaurant, he served customers at a table in the back of  the service station.  

By 1937 Sander’s had outgrown his one table eatery and moved to a restaurant which seated 142 people. At this restaurant Sanders experimented to find what is now his famous eleven (11) herbs and spices which he claimed could be found in any spice cabinet.  It was here that Sander’s changed commercial chicken preparation by developing pressure frying, a combination of pressure cooking and pan frying that locking in the juices better and made for quicker service.

In 1939, fire destroyed the restaurant.  Sander’s rebuilt and added a motel.  Standing the test of time, most of the building is still standing and has been restored.  Diners of KFC in Corbin can enjoy a great meal in the surroundings of where it all started followed by a peak back in time at the original kitchen and a model of a room from the motel.

The Sander's Cafe

  • Tour groups welcome
  • Bus parking
  • Open daily 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.
  • Souvenirs available