Food truck to serve Jug Burgers in memory of former drive-in owner

Dick Henderson owned and operated popular drive-in for 36 years.

Even after his death, Richard “Dick” Henderson, who owned and operated The Jug, a Middletown hamburger drive-in on Central Avenue for 36 years, continues impacting the business.

Henderson, who owned The Jug from 1965 until he sold it in 2001, died Oct. 19 at Charter Senior Living in Edgewood, Ky. He was 91.

Donnie Osborne, a Middletown native, purchased The Jug from John Ridge in 2018, and one day he was told a gentleman sitting in his car eating lunch wanted to talk to the owner. Osborne figured it was a disgruntled customer.

Instead, it was Henderson who congratulated Osborne on the taste of the food.

Osborne convinced Henderson to talk to The Jug cooks about the proper way to prepare a Jug Burger. A few days later, Henderson arrived and used his walker to get from his car to the kitchen. There Osborne gathered his staff and they listened to Henderson’s advice.

It worked, Osborne said, because within the next week, the reviews on social media were overwhelmingly positive and his business improved.

“He has had a big impact on us,” Osborne said.

One of Henderson’s two daughters, Beth Barber, 64, of Spring Hill, Fla., said after her father met Osborne he knew The Jug “was in good hands. Dad was really happy.”

Now those who attend Henderson’s celebration of life service from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Baker-Stevens-Parramore Funeral Home Event Center, 6850 Roosevelt Ave., will be treated to a Jug Burger. Osborne, at the request of the Henderson family, is catering the event through his food truck.

Before that, a memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Woodside Cemetery Chapel, 1401 Woodside Blvd., Middletown.

Henderson graduated from Monroe High School in 1948 and three years later, married Joyce (Sorrell) Henderson. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War from 1951-1953. Back in Middletown, he worked for Jerry Brown at Frisch’s.

He was an avid golfer and traveler. He was a member of Forest Hills and Wildwood Golf Club and he and his wife traveled to 49 out of the 50 states and went on cruises to the Caribbean and Alaska.

Barber said her father always seemed at home at The Jug. He loved meeting people and working with the young staff provided him “all the sons he never had,” she said.

“He was tough, but also kind,” she said. “He did more for people than we will ever know.”

George Wilson, 85, lived next-door to Henderson on Locust Lane for about 30 years. He said Henderson was “perfect for The Jug” because of his outgoing personality. He loved meeting people as much as he enjoyed cooking their food.

“He was just a great guy and neighbor,” Wilson said.

Henderson is survived by his wife of 72 years; daughters Karen Henderson, 67, of Wilder, Ky., and Barber; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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