Ike’s Pizza wins Main Street award for its outdoor space

Published 10:43 am Friday, June 30, 2023



Middlesboro Mainstreet business Ike’s Pizza was recognized as part of 15 businesses across Kentucky for their efforts to foster economic vitality and job creation through historic preservation. Ike’s Pizza was recognized for best outdoor space. This win comes after winning best renovation of an outdoor space.

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“Ike’s won last year for his best renovation of an outdoor space,” said Joanie Jasper, executive director of Mainstreet Middlesboro.

“Then this year we nominated Ike’s for his beautiful outdoor dining space. Having well-designed spaces are vital to a successful Main Street program. We need spaces that people want to enjoy spending time (in). Another thing about attractive outdoor spaces is that when people walk or drive by the space they mostly will come back to enjoy it.”

Jasper explained that Main Street Directs make the nominations for their district, then the state office will pick the winners.

At the presentation of the Main Street Awards, Gov. Andy Beshear boasted that Kentucky downtowns are areas that are rich with art and culture.

“Our main streets are the heart of our small towns, and they make each community unique,” Beshear said. “Today’s awardees have gone above and beyond to revitalize our historic downtown districts and bring new opportunity to the area. Together, we aren’t just talking about building a better Kentucky, we’re doing it, and it will have a positive impact for generations to come.”

The Kentucky Main Street program works to keep the commonwealth’s downtown areas thriving through the preservation of historic buildings, support of local businesses, redevelopment of commercial buildings and economic development.

The Kentucky Heritage Council State Historic Preservation Office created the Kentucky Main Street program in 1979 to reverse the economic decline in central business districts through historic preservation and redevelopment of commercial buildings.

“We are thrilled to recognize these outstanding Kentucky Main Street programs for their achievements in revitalizing communities and creating jobs,” said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Lindy Casebier. “The Main Street program celebrates the small towns of our commonwealth, supporting them in their efforts to preserve historic heritage while adding enhancements to attract new businesses and visitors.”

Beshear recognized Main Street communities for their outstanding efforts in volunteerism, partnerships, economic vitality, fundraising, design and promotion.

According to Jasper, there is one very achievable Main Street America Award that could very well be in Middlesboro’s future, but with most great things, it will come with a lot more hard work.

Main Street America has a high honor award,” said Jasper. “ And that is the Great American Main Street. Middlesboro Main Street has the potential to earn this award, however, we have some details we have to fix and address.”

She hopes that within two years Middlesboro Main Street will be the recipient of this high honor.

“A project like this would take our Main Street board, mayor, city council, downtown building and business owners working together to make it happen,” said Jasper. “We can do it.”