Patti’s 1880s Settlement

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October 15, 2013

More than just a great place to eat, Patti’s 1880s Settlement in Grand Rivers, Kentucky is “a trip back into the past. A reminder of when things moved slower.” A recreated log village is home to two restaurants, a 26′ rock climbing wall, miniature golf course, a variety of gift shops, coin-operated boats, lovely gardens and more to keep a family entertained for hours. Along with the restaurants, gift shops and other attractions, Patti’s also offers catering, banquet facilities and a wedding gazebo.

The Menu
The two restaurants, Miss Patti’s and Mr. Bill’s, serve identical fare. (The only difference is the size of the rooms.) Specialties include the 2″ Thick Pork Chop-over a pound of center cut pork chop seasoned and charbroiled to delicious perfection. The menu also boasts Patti’s Smothered Potato Chips, a plate of homemade chips covered in chili, cheese, bacon, diced tomatoes, red peppers and green onions, served up with a side of sour cream. Diners can also choose from a wide selection of steak, seafood, chicken, salads, appetizers, burgers, pasta and more. When you come to Patti’s, come hungry.

But don’t get so full that you have to skip dessert. Patti’s offers a wide choice of homemade pies, including Boo Boo Pie (a recipe gone wrong that turned out oh so right), Bill’s Boat Sinker Pie (a rich, dark double fudge pie topped with coffee ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry) and Sawdust Pie (coconut, pecans and graham cracker crumbs in an egg batter, baked in a flaky pie shell, topped with sliced bananas and whipped cream). And don’t overlook the selection of meringue pies, traditional Kentucky chess pie, fruit pies and Patti’s luscious three-layer coconut cake. Is your mouth watering yet?

Hamburger Patti’s
Passing through Kentucky’s Land Between the Lakes region in the mid-1970s, Bill and Patti Tullar and kids fell in love with the area and decided to relocate. Hamburger Patti’s opened in a simple block building that was part of a six-unit motel, but the motel rooms quickly evolved into dining rooms for hungry patrons. A second restaurant, Mr. Bill’s, was built in 1990 to serve tour buses but it was soon absorbed into Patti’s Restaurant. (A third buffet-style restaurant, the Iron Kettle, was lost to a fire in 2008.) With the addition of other attractions, the Tullars renamed the complex Patti’s 1880s Settlement.

Today, Patti’s serves an estimated 350,000 diners annually in tiny Grand Rivers, a town of only 350 tucked onto a peninsula between the dams on the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers that form Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake, at the northern end of the Land Between the Lakes.

Where to Stay
RVers can find a place to unhitch at nearby Crocket Frontiers Campground, a short drive from the restaurant. For those without an RV, Patti’s Inn & Suites offers accommodations for families or groups at a newly remodeled facility just off Interstate 24 and only four miles from the restaurant. For driving directions, a complete look at the menu and information on accommodations, visit

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