CORBIN – After taking a year off from hosting the event due to the pandemic, the Corbin Tourism Commission is partnering with the Times-Tribune once again to bring back the popular week-long foodie event, Finger Lickin’ Chicken Week.
“We kicked off January with a bang,” Corbin Tourism Executive Director and Center Manager Maggy Monhollen told tourism commission members during their monthly meeting Tuesday as they discussed the upcoming event honoring Corbin’s history. Corbin as the birthplace of Kentucky Fired Chicken.
Scheduled for the week of January 17-22 this year, Finger Lickin’ Chicken Week was created as an annual opportunity to highlight local restaurants and attract visitors to the City of Corbin and its downtown area.
“One of the best things about Corbin is the small town community and Main Street definitely has a lot of that,” said Summer Messer, manager of You and Me Coffee and Tea, when asked why the coffee shop was participating in Chicken. Week. Messer also mentioned how Chicken Week offers the opportunity for new guests to try something new in a place they may not have been before.
“It’s definitely a great way to bring some variety to the city center,” Messer said. “People can come in, try the coffee maybe for the first time, but it also gets everyone to come downtown and hang out.”
Started as the successor to another favorite Corbin-based foodie event, Burger Week, Finger Lickin’ Chicken Week works in a similar way, as local restaurants offer creative and unique dishes at a flat price of $6 with chicken as the main ingredient of the dish. . .
Monhollen told tourism board members he believed this year’s Finger Lickin’ Chicken Week could be the biggest since its inception, as this year’s event will feature more restaurants than ever before. In total, 14 of Corbin’s restaurants will participate in this year’s event.
Downtown restaurants joining You and Me Coffee & Tea include Bree’s on Main, The Depot, Caboose Sports Tavern, Seasons, Si Señor, Travis’ Cafe, Austin City Saloon, Wrigley Taproom & Eatery, and Sweeties Ice Cream. Bubby’s BBQ and Santa Fe located on Cumberland Falls Highway, along with Old Town Grill on US 25-E and Ice House located on KY 26 round out the list of participating restaurants.
Each restaurant will feature custom dishes, from chicken paninis to supreme chicken nachos. The event’s menu also features Wrigley’s Hot Honey Nuggies, which was featured on Food Network’s American Restaurant Battle last year. The episode featuring the Wrigley and his plate is available to stream on Amazon.
This year’s Chicken Week will also feature Austin City Saloon’s Clucken Hot Chicken Challenge, which requires guests to sign a waiver before eating, as well as two of Bubby’s BBQ Chicken County Style Biscuits and more .
“My wife picked on me,” joked Mark Shepherd, owner of Bubby’s and co-owner of Bree’s with his wife Michelle. “She says no one is going to eat a chicken biscuit for dinner, but they do,” he added, noting that he wanted to offer a different dish than the twist on chicken sandwiches that Bubby’s has produced in previous Chicken Weeks.
As for why Shepherd and its restaurants continue to participate in food events like Chicken Week, Shepherd said it’s about a sense of community. He said it shouldn’t even be an idea for businesses and organizations within the community to come together and help support something that benefits everyone.
“We’re all in this together,” he said, later adding, “Maggy does a good job. I think Chicken Week and Burger Week are the two best things we have.”