From addict to entrepreneur: A Kentucky man’s success story
COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) — When Brad Wainscott spiraled down the path of addiction, he spiraled fast.
His attraction to alcohol was all-consuming. His friends and family feared the worse. Life was losing its meaning. Everything was out of control. Though in a fog, he was able to see the situation wasn’t what his wife and children deserved. He wanted to change.
“I had to make a lifestyle change,” he said. “With the support of my family and friends, I knew I was worth it.”
So, he changed.
Less than a year and a half later, the Fort Mitchell resident is still sober. Wainscott looks like your typical devoted dad, whose eyes light up when talks of his wife, Michelle, and three children Charlie, Will, and Libby.
The capstone of sobriety is that also in less than a year, he’s gone from addict to entrepreneur. On Jan. 25, Libby’s Southern Comfort will make its debut at 35 West 8th Street, Covington. Wainscott is opening the restaurant with his close friends Jeremy and Kate Legge of Burlington.
The restaurant, living up to its name, will offer authentic southern comfort foods such as fried chicken, oysters on a half shell, fried chicken skins, and a specialty: Goetta Hush Puppies.
Wainscott, 40, has been in the restaurant business almost his entire life.
His dad opened the Greyhound Tavern 30 years ago and still operates it in Fort Mitchell today. He started officially working there at age 15 bussing tables.
“My dad showed me how to work hard and pay attention to detail,” he said. “It’s always been my dream to run my own place.”
During college, he worked for his brother-in-law in Lexington at one of the city’s oldest restaurants, Merrick Inn. He served as manager for 10 years. Back home, he helped his dad open the Tousey House Tavern in Burlington and ran the place for nine years.
“I just love it,” he said of the business. “But, this means more to me than opening my own restaurant. With this business, I’m showing my kids that I can overcome. You can always overcome obstacles. I want my kids, my family and I want anyone battling addiction to know that you can overcome.”
The restaurant is named for Wainscott’s daughter, whose affection for their black lab inspired the logo, a silhouette of a pony-tailed girl and her dog.
So far, the response has been great, even without an official opening, according to Wainscott’s partner Kate Legge.
“It’s neat to be a part of this experience and sharing it with friends,” Legge said. “It’s been humbling. People have lined up before we’re even open for gift cards. They have been so encouraging. We want this to be a favorite spot for people - a place to go for good food and some comfort.”
Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com