With a few minutes remaining before 5 p.m. last Wednesday, a small crowd was already starting to gather at Finley’s Bar & Grill, the bar side of the new Henri’s Market & Deli in Olive Hill, to unwind and enjoy some conversation along with burgers and beverages.
A group from the nearby American Legion stationed themselves at a long table by the big, glass door, while a trio of friends talked at a round table and a father and son enjoyed time together on bar stools as owner Todd Antrobus supervised and juggled tasks.
“Business has been fantastic. Fridays and Saturdays have been just fantastic and through the week the numbers are good,” Antrobus said, explaining Henri’s Market & Deli, which includes the more-recently opened Finley’s Bar & Grill, has generated a synergy with The Drive-In, located just across the road.
A selection of new sandwiches and entrees have been added to the menu, he said, citing the recent introduction of a Reuben sandwich as well as deep-fried butterfly shrimp and shrimp cocktail which were a “big hit” with patrons who gathered at Henri’s for New Year’s Eve 2019.
Burgers built upon the foundation of an 8-ounce beef patty have been particularly popular at Henri’s.
“The Gaber, named for my son, is the all-American cheeseburger. That’s probably one out of every four burgers we sell,” Antrobus observed.
Bud and Bud Light are the most popular beers with Henri’s customers.
“And, we have customers who come in and say, ‘Oh man, you’ve got West 6th!’ Or, ‘Oh man, you’ve got Fat Tire,'” Antrobus said.
Antrobus makes no secret of the fact he is striving to create, prepare and serve the greatest burgers, and other entrees, anyone has ever experienced. Each sandwich is another shot at greatness, he explained as he discussed his appreciation of customers who provide honest evaluations and feedback at the end of each visit.
“I’m looking for a response every time,” he said with a grin. “I literally can’t wait to hear what people have to say about it.”
At that moment, a pair of baskets containing two new burger styles and accompanied by golden-brown tots and melted cheese for dipping, arrived at the table.
The first of the day’s samples was soon titled the “Wisconsin Burger” in honor of the Wisconsin-born employee who insisted upon adding more cheese. It featured barbecue sauce on top and bottom, with the 8-ounce patty topped by beer cheese and melted smoked cheddar and onion rings in the middle of a pretzel bun.
The second, soon to be dubbed “The Cassie Burger,” had sautéed onions along with barbecue sauce (on the bottom) and melted smoked cheddar cheese.
“Which one do you like better?” Antrobus asked after attempting to wait patiently for a declaration by the visiting community journalist.
It was a tricky question to answer. Each was simply outstanding.
Henri’s Market & Deli, located on Tom T. Hall Boulevard in Olive Hill, is open from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. until Midnight on Friday and Saturday, and from Noon until 6 on Sunday. For more information or to place an order, call (606) 315-2340.
Story and Photos by TIM PRESTON