Malcolm and Leslie Wheatley opened The Feed Mill Restaurant
and Bar in Morganfield, Ky in January of 1997. Here is how it all
Malcolm and Leslie Wheatley married in 1965 and moved to Waverly, KY. They had
five children-four sons and one daughter. Malcolm was a grain farmer, raised hogs and
opened a Purina Feed Mill in 1968. Leslie was a homemaker and registered nurse at
the local health center. All of the children helped on the farm and at the feed mill until it
was time to go off to college.
Two of their sons attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Whenever Malcolm
and Leslie would visit, they would eat at a small cajun restaurant owned and operated
by a native of the cajun country in Louisiana. The two sons worked for this man at his
two restaurants. Over time, Malcolm and Leslie became acquainted with the owner.
And in 1993, they decided to open their own Seafood / Cajun style restaurant in
Leslie and a daughter-in-law traveled to Lexington, Ky to learn how to cook eleven cajun
recipes that would be served in their new restaurant. In 1995, the Henderson restaurant
was sold and Joe's OK Bayou Restaurant and Bar was opened in Louisville, KY. It
would be managed by Joe Wheatley. For information, visit
It was January 1997 when The Feed Mill Restaurant and Bar was opened in
Morganfield, KY., managed by Eddie Wheatley. Scott Wheatley, an airline pilot, assists
with administrative and financial duties. John Wheatley, an animation artist, designed
each restaurant's logos and t-shirts. He also created the art work for Joe's OK Bayou
website. Samantha Wheatley Jenkins assists with private parties and other functions.
And Malcolm and Leslie help when and where they are needed.
The Feed Mill Restaurant and Bar was originally a concrete block building used for
storage of feed, seed corn and fertilizer by the Purina Feed Mill. It had a loft and a large
dirt floor area in which the feed trucks were parked. The building sits on part of the
grain farm facing US Highway 60 in a rural setting. Malcolm wanted a rustic theme
when building the restaurant. He razed many local barns to obtain cyprus and poplar
lumber to use in constructing the restaurant. White oak floors, wormy maple ceilings
and original corrugated tin are all incorporated in the construction.
The bar area features a solid, hand-crafted cherry and walnut bar and cabinets. The
wood used to construct the bar was cut from the Wheatley farm and allowed to age for
30 years. A painted mural covers the walls in the bar. It depicts an old grist mill with a
rural background. The bar area is called "The Roost". There are many fowl and stuffed
animals featured in the decor.
The main dining area seats 90 guests and the bar seats 40. The upstairs party room is
called "The Loft" (because it was actually an old loft) and seats 60 guests. A new
non-smoking room was built on in 2002. It's called "The Mardi Gras Room" because of
the colorful decor. This room accommodates groups up to 65.
In June 2004, Joe Wheatley opened a second cajun restaurant, Joe's OK Bayou of
Lexington". In September of 2005, Joe opened a third cajun restaurant, Joe's OK Bayou
of New Albany (across the river from Louisville).