Manchester Street Stories is an informal collection of stories and anecdotes featuring neighbors who live and work on Manchester Street’s in Lexington Kentucky’s Distillery District. Interviews and photos by Latitude Artist Community (now located on Manchester Street).
In Spring 2012, Morgan Alexander and Sherri M. McGee (Latitude) interviewed Paul Holland (PH), owner of the C&P Market on Manchester Street, not far from Rupp Arena.
Holland recalls, “Bill Keightley [UK Basketball’s longtime equipment manager] would send a driver three times a week to pick up lunch that he phoned in. He would also check to see when the first vat of chili was made for chili season. He would reserve the very first bowl!”
The store has a three-decade legacy. Holland says, “it opened in June 1982. Thirty years! I went to College at UK and got a degree in finance. My father had stores when I growing up, so I already knew a little about running a market. We’ve had regular customers for 30 years. I’d say about 200 regulars come in each week. Some of them still work in the area. Some are retired, but still stop in. Some of my customers are children of the retired regulars. I’ve watched them grow up over the years, and now they come here as adults. “
Of its economic history, he says, “The Reagan years, especially 1986-1988, were the best. The last few years have been the worst. It could be the economy, also many local business have left the area. Many industrial businesses have gone out of business. King’s Foods left, they had 35 employees. Star Tool and Die went out. Many of their workers would come and hang out after work. Some of the new business such as Buster’s and Latitude either have very few employees, or work later hours than the market is open.”
Asked if he’s part of the process in planning the revitalization in this district, he says, “I will be. I attend council meetings when I can I favor expansion, but not so much ‘beautification.’ I’ve heard some complaints about the ugly quarry and sanitation trucks that go up and down the street. These trucks are some of my best customers!” adding, “I try to be a realist about putting money into trails and beautification projects.”
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