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Letcher County's Junction Drive-In restaurant reopens its doors after flooding

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Posted at 6:00 AM, Sep 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-06 07:15:56-04

LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Junction Drive-In has been around for about a year now. Its owners were impacted by this summer’s historic flooding. The owners tell us that they knew that rebuilding was something they had to do for the future of the restaurant in the community.

It’s hard not to notice the Junction Drive-In here in Neon on Kentucky Highway 805. The building has been there for some time, but the Maggard family just bought the building and opened their drive-in this year. They say they are known for their fried foods and milkshakes.

Owner, Lisa Maggard, says, “Sometimes my kids will say it’s ‘the heart attack shack’. So, who doesn’t like fried food in the south? You know but honestly, we have like 70 different flavors of milkshakes.”

During this summer’s flooding, this area saw more than four feet of water. Maggard says she and her husband knew they would want to rebuild this community. They just reopened their doors on Sunday.

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“Finally, I was just like okay, we have to quit feeling sorry for ourselves, we gotta get up and get going and put this business back here. Our community needs us, and we’ve come this far to turn back,” says Maggard.

The building was closed for a little over a month before it reopened this week, and the owners placed this sign here not only as a reminder of the past but as an indication of where they are going.

Maggard says, “So, I just thought this was just a good mark, just for people to see and of course, we’ll never forget it for sure.”

One employee, Donna Craft, says she was on her way to work when she learned about the flooding. She says this restaurant and family mean so much to the area – and she’s happy to still be a part of this restaurant’s story.

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Craft says, “Yes, yes – I feel that the community needs this. There’s nothing here in Neon. I think their comeback is going to be better than the setback.”

Now, as they continue to make the fried foods and milkshakes that everyone loves, Maggard says their reopening is only a part of the rebuilding this community is doing together.

“So many awesome volunteers, that have helped and just came around and not even asking for their help, just they wanted to help, you know? So, I think that you know, that’s what I’ve said, I feel like there’s something good that’s gonna come out of this even though at the time, you know, it really doesn’t look like it,” says Maggard.