Johnnie Allman was a native of Richmond, Kentucky and always had a love for the Kentucky River. He had two sisters Mary & Mossie and a brother named Jim. Johnnie had a variety of jobs in his younger days before he got into the restaurant business. He was a lifeguard at Fort Boonesborough, took over his father’s grocery business for a while, worked at Jack Turpin’s funeral home and worked at Richmond’s daily newspaper. Many people may not know that Johnnie was also a police officer for a ten year period serving on the Richmond Police Department and the Kentucky State Police Force. He worked his way up to the rank of captain and he was personal aid to two Kentucky governors.
After retiring from the Kentucky State Police Force, Johnnie Allman began his historical restaurant career. It all started in the late 1930's on the banks of the Kentucky river near Boonesborough where he opened his first restaurant, The Driftwood Inn. This was the restaurant where Johnnie Allman first served his cousin Joe Allman's now famous "Snappy Cheese".
Johnnie moved his site of operation to the site of present day Hall's restaurant in the mid 1940's and after a while sold the business to Carl Johnson. Upon the sale, he agreed to stay out of the restaurant business on the river for five years. During this time away from the river he opened The Smokehouse on US 25 in Madison county near the Bluegrass Army Depot during the Korean War. After that location he moved to North Broadway in Lexington to open an Allman's Restaurant during the construction of IBM. He again sold that restaurant and moved for the last time back to the Kentucky river and built on a site located between his two previous locations.This location was highly popular with the college crowd, especially EKU and UK students. Many people remember it as their favorite place to meet up with friends and enjoy a great meal. The last Allman's Restaurant operated until 1978 when the business burned and was never rebuilt. The last genuine Allman's beer cheese was served at this location.
In the years since Allman's closed many versions of beer cheese have appeared in the regions stores and restaurants. But now, "THE BEER CHEESE THAT STARTED IT ALL", is available again. Johnnie's grandson Ian and his wife Angie prepare each small batch using the original ingredients, including 100% aged Wisconsin cheddar cheese. We are proud to share our family recipe, just as it was served at Allman's Restaurants for over 40 years.
Look on the WHERE TO BUY tab for a listing of locations.