By MATTHEW CARNERO MACIAS

Two award-winning establishments are partnering to offer Lyon County residents, Land Between the Lakes visitors and Kentuckians a new dining experience.

The owners of Lake Barkley Vineyards and Green’s Steakhouse are joining for a new endeavor — a partnership at Lake Barkley Winery that will host tours, dining and other events.

The facility is under construction in Eddyville on U.S. 93 near the U.S. 293 intersection. It sits on 15 acres, with peach and pecan orchards and a view of the Eddyville water tower.

William Wesselak, 80, started his vineyard operation in Kentucky more than a decade ago. His vineyard has merited a gold award for the best vineyard in the state in 2019.

Terry Green owns Green’s Steakhouse in Madisonville. He too is the recipient of gold awards in Kentucky.

A deal was struck between Wesselak and Green in late 2019. The partnership was naturally a match, and the two businesses will employ close to 50 people.

Green stated that there is a need for new dining options.

“It was crazy when I posted I was going to put this restaurant in Eddyville, within 3 days, I had 49,000 people look at it.”

Wesselak, who retired at age 70, has a background in biochemistry and electrical engineering. He’s just grateful for the opportunity to start a business venture at this stage in his life and begin a third career.

The vineyard owner, who also helped in running a winery in Princeton, now needs a full-time “cellar rat” to learn the trade and work in the winery cellar with him.

“Staffing is a huge problem. You can’t get people to work,” Wesselak said. “People that I get are retired people who need cash payment.”

Green runs the steakhouse with his wife. He, too, is a hands-on owner. His professional background positions him in the kitchen. He cuts his product himself and has streamlined his menu.

“There was one point during (the COVID-19 pandemic) where we were the only ones in the building. I was cooking, and she was doing to-go orders,” Green said.

Green intends to continue expanding and opening restaurants as far as Tennessee.

Wesselak on the other hand enjoys his small operation. He does not want the work and responsibility to overtake his passion and joy.

“I don’t want to go that route, I want to grow my own and make my wine,” Wesselak said.

A tentative winter grand opening is scheduled for the new joint venture.