KFC’s historic Sanders Café and Museum to get extreme makeover

A rendering of what the updated Sanders Cafe and Museum will look like after renovations are completed.

The famous Sanders Café KFC located in Corbin, Kentucky is getting a major renovation and expansion.

While the restaurant transformation is expected to take more than nine months, the restaurant plans to remain open throughout construction.

Sanders Café, located at 688 Hwy 25 in Corbin, is the birthplace of KFC’s Original Recipe. It is where KFC’s founder, Colonel Harland Sanders, perfected his secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices more than 75 years ago. That recipe is still served today in KFCs everywhere.

A rendering of the exterior view of Sanders Cafe, once renovations are complete.

Originally established in 1937 as a gas station along U.S. Route 25, Sanders Court eventually expanded to include a motel and café where the Colonel offered guests a hot meal and a place to rest along their journey.

Today, the restaurant features the original Sanders Café dining room, showcases a model of the Colonel’s original kitchen and a replica hotel room. Those elements will keep their historical integrity and receive some updates. Renovation plans also consist of a 3,000 square foot addition, which includes a dining area expansion that will offer seating for up to 132 guests.

A look at what the KFC Cafe’s historical dining room will look like after renovations are complete.

Plans for the restaurant’s renovation were entirely custom created to keep the historical integrity of the location while adding additional square footage and expanding memorabilia displays that highlight the history of the place and the KFC brand.

Though the redesign is unique to this location, some design elements are drawn from KFC’s signature American Showman design aesthetic, which pays tribute to Colonel Sanders.

A rendering of what the KFC Cafe will look like after the renovations are finished.

Some key elements featured in the interior of the restaurant will include:

  • Harland’s Herb and Spice room that celebrates Colonel Sanders signature World Famous Original Recipe Chicken and secret blend of 11 herbs and spices
  • A historical KFC timeline that celebrates the legacy of Colonel Sanders to be featured in an expanded museum space
  • Model of Sanders Café’s original kitchen and a hotel room
  • A retail area where guests can purchase souvenirs to commemorate their visit to the Sanders Café

Construction is set to start this week.