Eddie Montgomery with John Michael Montgomery - by Jessica Blankenship
Less than a year ago, Eddie Montgomery had a vision and a dream. That vision was to open up his own restaurant within his community. That vision became a reality as Eddie Montgomery's Steakhouse would soon open, complete with a gift shop complete with items from his wife, Tracy.
On Tuesday night, the Montgomery family celebrated their success with a Grand Opening that would benefit Camp Horsin' Around. Camp Horsin' Around is based in Central Kentucky and is a charity that Eddie Montgomery started recently. It benefits children that are terminally ill. "Our kids are our future and I'm hoping that Camp Horsin' Around will help stomp out cancer. Bottom line, this puts them somewhere on a farm with horses, a bunch of my old donkeys, and other farm animals, and they get to be kids. That's what it's all about - to let them be kids."
As fans gathered to the sold out special event, they were greeted as they walked the red carpet, ever fitting with Montgomery's red boots. The menu would consist a choice of steak or grilled salmon, along with a salad, and dessert choice of bread pudding or Jim Beam Pie. The delicious food and atmosphere really was an enjoyable experience.
Eddie was not alone on opening the doors of the special event. He was joined up on stage by fellow friends in the music industry. Craig Morgan, Colt Ford, The Roys, Lucas Hoge, Ira Dean, and Billy Dean all attended to entertain the crowd. John Michael Montgomery, brother, would also perform a few of his hits. Eddie would even perform on his own stage for the first time.
Songwriter Ira Dean is quite involved with the charity and helping Eddie out. "I've been involved with the charity since Eddie called me the first time. When he calls me, I don't mind to help him out. I know it's a good cause."
"It's a great experience. As friends, we do not get to do these kind of things that often. We're all so busy. It's nice to have that opportunity to help out our friends," according to Craig Morgan.
Colt Ford has collaborated with John Michael Montgomery on various projects. The Georgia native said that he soon became friends with Eddie after knowing John for a while. "When your buddy calls where I come from, you just load up and go do it. I was just glad to be here."
Eddie Montgomery definitely has provided a boost to the economy of Harrodsburg by employing about 200 employees. Visitors from all across the country come to the town just to eat at the restaurant. "I think it is great that someone wants to take a piece from here and they want to come and visit from out of state. It's been very humbling how many people have came. When you walk out in the parking lot and you see license plates from the different states, it's really nice," according to Tracy Montgomery, Eddie's wife.
In opening the restaurant, it was quite simple to live that vision and keeping tradition. "Kentucky has always been known for it's music, horses, and I just want to make sure to keep that tradition going. There's so much talent here in Kentucky; it's unbelievable. I see it in here every night. I have a jam night and karaoke night. When you wake up in Kentucky, it's in your blood. If you look down in history, some of your greatest entertainers, whether it's acting or music, it's been homegrown here in Kentucky. I want to make sure that we keep that going."
The biggest challenge according to Eddie is that not being a business guy. "When I see something, I grab it and worry about everything else later." He said that he learned that you have to keep top of things no matter if you are out on the road or not. One person he owes thanks to helping out live this dream is his wife.
"I'm excited for him as this has been his dream to have a restaurant, although his dreams are killing me, that's exciting for him. He's been really busy ever since we opened the restaurant. For him to have a little bit of a break and his brother (John Michael) at the same time is great. They have a lot of stuff coming up that they are working on together. I think it's pretty exciting and to see them both on stage tonight together will be cool too."
When Eddie Montgomery took to the stage Tuesday night to perform for the first time at his restaurant, he sang it best when he played "Lucky Man." Kentucky is honored to have the Montgomery family as a whole to help support the local community through their restaurant and Camp Horsin' Around.
More information on Eddie Montgomery Steakhouse can be found here.
More information on Camp Horsin' Around can be found here.