Member Login

Covington Burger Joints to Be Featured on KET

Two burger destinations in Covington will be featured on Kentucky Educational Television (KET) in an upcoming program.

Herb & Thelma's, the longtime tavern and restaurant in Lewisburg known for its burgers, and Bard's Burgers & Chili in Latonia, which is becoming a staple of television programs, will be profiled on The Local Traveler, a KET program airing on Saturday, May 20 1t 12:30 p.m.

At Herb & Thelma's, burgers are made on the tavern’s original grill and served with pickles, onions and a slice of cheese if requested. Guests can accompany their burger with a bag of chips or a bowl of homemade chili. Menu items are served and made fresh.

“People come in for our burgers, but stay because of the friendly environment. It’s just a good, neighborhood tavern where people can stop in for a meal in a laid back atmosphere," said co-owner Jeff Fessler, who took over the business that first opened in the 1930s. “We’ve stayed true to what we’ve always been since the beginning, and have been able to hold onto the tavern’s original charm and character.”

Established in 1939, Henry “Heine” Boehmker opened the doors to Heine’s Tavern in the Lewisburg neighborhood. The tavern was then sold to his son, Herb, and wife, Thelma, transitioning the tavern into “Herb & Thelma’s Tavern.” The tavern is now co-owned and operated by Joe and Suzanne Fessler.

In recent years, Herb & Thelma’s Tavern has been featured several times in Cincinnati Magazine and was ranked number 18 on its “45 Best Burgers in Cincinnati” list. Additionally, the tavern has been featured in CityBeat’s “Best of Cincinnati” awards, earning the title of “Best Burger Dive” in the area.

Thanks to the Center for Great Neighborhoods’ Creative Community grant program, the tavern will be adding a mural to its pre-Civil War building exterior. Painted by artist Bret Schulte, the mural design combines elements from a Shoenling Beer advertisement with a photo of the original Heine Tavern, both from the 1950’s.

Another Covington favorite, Bard’s Burgers & Chili will also be featured on the episode.

Located in Latonia, Bard’s Burgers & Chili re-opened its doors in 2015 with a variety of diner classics such as handmade burger patties, Cincinnati style chili, fresh cheese curds and fried oreos.

“We love burgers and the state of Kentucky, so we are definitely excited to be a part of this show,” said owner/general manager Jordan Stephenson

Guests can take the restaurant’s “Bardzilla” challenge by eating the colossal meal which includes 11 one-third of a pound patties, extra cheese, lettuce, pickles, one pound of homemade fries and a 16 ounce shake. Those able to conquer the feat earn a free t-shirt and the honor of having their photograph featured on the Bardzilla wall of fame.

Bard’s Burgers & Chill received national recognition and was recently featured on the Food Network's Ginormous Food with Josh Denny.

KET’s Local Traveler program is hosted by Amy Hess and allows viewers to take part in virtual day trips uncovering the people, places and products that make Kentucky and the surrounding region unique.

Click here for additional "Burgers in the Bluegrass” air times.

-Staff report

Photo: Herb & Thelma's (RCN file)