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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
The Pike County Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Pike County Bicentennial Committee, launched its Pike County Tenderloin Trail on Saturday, Sept. 4.
The Pike County Tenderloin Trail is intended to celebrate the iconic tenderloin sandwich, and to increase business at Pike County Chamber of Commerce member restaurants. According to restaurateurs Gina Johns, of Pleasant Hill’s StageCoach Inn and Hotel, and Pam Watts, of Nebo’s Wattsup Café, public interest in the promotion has been high, and the promotion has drawn first-time visitors to the restaurants from neighboring counties.
“I really think it’s amazing,” StageCoach Inn owner Gina Johns said. “We’ve had new customers in from as far away as Jersey County.”
According to Johns, local customers have also been eager to support the Tenderloin Trail.
“Our customers have really embraced it,” Johns said. “We’ve had nothing but great feedback.”
Johns said she believes customers are eager to support their communities and local businesses after the financial and psychological stress of the pandemic.
“It’s a great energy boost,” Johns said. “It’s a great way to bring businesses and people together. It gives people something to go out and tackle and feel good about.”
Pam Watts, owner of Nebo’s Wattsup Café, also said that the Tenderloin Trail has brought out-of-town customers to her establishment.
“I’m seeing some other customers,” Watts said. “The first people that came in for the trail were from Scott County.”
Both Johns and Watts said that the promotion has also encouraged the participating businesses to support one another.
“I plan to visit every other stop on the trail,” Johns said. “It’s a great way for restaurants to support other restaurants.”
Similarly, Watts said she plans to travel the tenderloin trail with members of her family.
“My granddaughter was like, ‘Grandma, we have to do this,’” Watts said.
Johns said she hopes that the success of the Tenderloin Trail leads to more county-wide promotions led by the Chamber of Commerce.
“I’m hoping, as a county, we can do more of this,” Johns said.
To participate in the Tenderloin Trail, residents should visit any participating restaurant and pick up a punch card and trail map, and order a tenderloin.
Participating restaurants are the Hook, Bainbridge Street Café, Copperhead Tavern, the Atlas Café, Fat Boys, the StageCoach Inn and Hotel, Wattsup Café, Courtyard Café and Bakery, Teddy’s Bar and Grill, Rumors Have It and Riverbank Bar and Grill.
To complete the “trail,” participants should visit at least nine of the participating businesses by Sunday, Nov. 20. In order to qualify for prize drawings, participants should save their receipts.
For more information on the Tenderloin Trail or information about the Chamber of Commerce, call 217-285-2971 or email firstname.lastname@example.org