Social media has been abuzz the past few days with comments and questions about the closing of Wyndall’s Wonder Whip (2434 E 4th St). Owensboro Living spoke with owner Billy Mulligan this afternoon to get the story.
You might think that less traffic on East 4th/Hwy 144 because of the re-routing of Hwy 60 (former “bypass”) is the main issue, but Mulligan says that’s not the case. “We might have slowed up a little bit for a week or two when the new road was opened, but ever since construction on the hospital started, we’ve had a lot of customers from the construction crews and now employees and visitors to the hospital,” he said. “Business never really went down.”
In fact, Mulligan says traffic on 144 is still pretty steady. So it’s not traffic that’s the issue.
The real issue is his mother’s declining health and his own “mental health,” for lack of a better way to describe the frustration of running the Whip and still managing his farm and landscape business.
Then, last week he had four employees quit.
Simply put: it’s too much to handle right now.
But Mulligan says there may be hope in reopening – if someone else can take over. “I’m hoping someone might be interested (in reopening) that has the ability to manage it,” he said. “Business was good, and we had a good following.”
Over sixty years worth of following. For Mulligan, October 1st would have marked his 22nd year of ownership.
It’s sad to see a landmark like Wonder Whip go dark. “Trust me, no one is more disappointed about it than I am,” Mulligan said. “But you gotta do what you gotta do.”
Let’s hope someone can light that iconic neon sign again soon.