"The only town on Lake Cumberland" might not have a giant water tower with the words "Burnside Y'all" emblazoned upon it. But it does have a Muggbees.
The sports bar and restaurant located in the Stonebrook Pavilion shopping center along busy South U.S. 27 in Burnside has its origins in Florence, Ky., located in the far northern portion of the state outside Cincinnati.
"There was a DJ and catering (business), and I was always in the bar business," said Muggbees owner Andy Scott. "The next thing I know, I bought the bar I was DJing in and turned it into a restaurant and sports bar."
That was back in 1996. About a decade later, Scott decided to open another Muggbees, right here in Pulaski County, where he and his family were big fans of Lake Cumberland, as are so many others.
"We have a cabin down here; we'd been coming down about 10 years," said Scott. "It's not so busy here. It's more laid-back compared to big towns, more laid-back people."
Scott still goes back and forth between here and northern Kentucky, but notes that he spends "most of the time" in Pulaski now. That's because Muggbees has found a home in Burnside, inhabiting the space filled by previous sports bar atmospheres like Sully's and High Tops -- and expanding on them.
"There was nothing like mine, where you can go and hear music and eat good food and watch sports," said Scott. "It's like three or four different places in one location."
And on the southern end of Pulaski, Muggbees seems particularly convenient to those on the lake, as well as people from Wayne and McCreary Counties. But it's not just those areas that send in customers; said Scott. "I draw from all over."
There's a fully outdoor patio, a contained roofed patio with an area for bands and a pool table, as well as a second bar, and inside are featuring a bar lined with flat-panel televisions and a larger eating area that's better for families with kids. There are 36 televisions, on which visitors can see all the big games on the NFL Sunday Ticket package. Muggbees also offers karaoke nights, pool tournaments, and more.
"There's something for everybody," said Scott.
Plus, smoking is allowed on the outdoor patio -- an increasing rarity in nightspot locations.
"A lot of people come here because they can sit out there and eat and smoke," said Scott. "I hate smoke, if it were up to me we wouldn't have smoke, but that bar is set up so it can please everybody."
Muggbees has a large menu, stocked with bar and grill favorites: wings, burgers, pizza.
"It's a half-pound patty of fresh ground beef on a five-inch bun," said Scott, describing the burgers, which include options like a queso burger, BBQ bacon, mushroom Swiss and a mac & cheesse burger. If you're really brave, try the MuggBeast -- six patties, over three pounds of ground beef. If you can do it in an hour, you can claim a t-shirt proclaiming that you "conquered the MuggBeast."
The pIzzas are also "going over big," said Scott. "They're made with fresh dough and grilled thick. They're real good; everybody talks about us having the best pizza in town."
Also available are fish sandwiches, tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, nachos, meatloaf, baked subs, salads, steak, chicken entrees, and ribs, along with plenty of bar appetizers like fried picks, fried banana peppers, potato skins, chicken tenders, cheese sticks, and pretzel bites.
"People really like our ribeye steak cookout in the patio," said Scott. "That went over real big."
Those wishing to learn more can visit "Muggbees Burnside" on Facebook or go to muggbees.bar online.
As for the name, Scott said they were looking for something that had to do with mugs or pitchers, appropriate to the bar theme.
"We tried Muggsey's; it was taken, but a place called Rugbys went under, and I said, 'Why not Muggbees?'" recalled Scott.
What's in a name, though? According to Scott, "the best food in town."