Pork and Property Peddler
Pat Herring practices what she preaches – good food, tasteful landscaping, and beautiful surroundings. She has a reputation of serving up satisfying home-cooking at her restaurant, the Pork Peddler. For 17 years, she’s stayed busy delivering made-from-scratch pies and bread pudding alongside an extensive salad bar and buffet of “meat and potatoes.”
I like the old homes in Lower Town and decided I wanted to be a part of it,” she said. “So, I bought this house that used to be a crack house, and the one next door, and began restoring them.”
Today she’s working on another house just down the street and has infused it with personality and charm.
“It’s kind of a funny story,” Pat said. “Elizabeth (her rescued canine companion) and I were taking our walk and there was a woman putting up a For Sale sign. I asked her how much she wanted, she told me, and I said, ‘I believe I’ll buy it. Come on down to the restaurant and I’ll give you a check.'”
The house sits on three city lots and is on the corner of North English and Harrison Streets. With the help of Gary Gay, the contractor who helped her restore her first two houses, the ram-shackled, overgrown property is emerging as a charming cottage complete with a picket fence.
Along her journey of making miracles out of messes, Pat has always salvaged everything she could to reuse. At her latest project, she even moved some of the plants and flowers and will replant them in a “born-again” yard. There was one discovery that presented a challenge in the “reusable” department however. In the Harrison street house Pat purchased she found a Civil War cannon ball!
Her first Lower Town house, snuggled in the middle of the block on Eighth Street, is where she lives with Elizabeth Ann and the canine’s feline cohort, Burton Lewis (another rescued pet). The brick house was originally built in 1897 by Paducah’s Dr. Charles Brothers.
The original tall, arched wooden front door leads into the brick house, which is decorated with her vast collection of antique furniture and accessories. She points out that there are 28 different colors throughout the house, with custom decorative painting techniques in every room.
“I’m very colorful,” she said with a grin. And, while it may sound like a lot of colors, the warm tones spill one into another with an easy elegance.
Every inch of space sparkles with her artistic touch. Gorgeous leaded glass is above many doorways. Original wood pocket doors open one room into the next. Even the ceilings are decorated. In the two front rooms, huge wooden medallions are mounted on the nine-foot-high ceilings.
A stairway lined with paneling that remains in the state she found it-layer upon layer of paint unevenly worn away to reveal silver, green, gold, and cream-leads to a sitting room, dining area, bedroom, and bath. The ceilings of the second floor are exposed wooden beams, giving height and spaciousness to the rooms. One wall is finished with tin shingles that had once been on the roof of the second house she had restored.
“I’ll bet if this place could talk, it would tell some tales,” Pat said with a twinkle in her eye.
Pat has worked with Paducah Bank during several of her restoration projects. “I’ve always had good experiences with Paducah Bank,” she commented. “They’re very accommodating and always very courteous. I’m always treated with much respect whether I drive through or just go inside!”