Ruby Concrete Company in downtown Madisonville was a thriving element of the Hopkins County commercial and industrial community for more than a century.
With the opening of Tradewater Brewing last week, the building that once housed the company’s concrete block facility has been given new life after being abandoned for several years.
The Tradewater Brewery is the first to operate in Hopkins County.
During the first few weeks of operation, the business will be open only on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 10 p.m., with fermentation occurring on other days. Eventually, the restaurant will be open Tuesday through Saturday, with food carts present on weekends.
Converting ancient industrial buildings into commercial enterprises or residences is extremely common in larger communities, but not so much in western Kentucky. This began to alter when developers purchased the former concrete company’s property on Dempsey Street and began planning “Ruby Junction.”
Tradewater has a large event space and aims to have a live music area with more seating in the future.
In 2022, David Garrigan, co-owner of Garrigan Building and Construction and co-owner of Ruby Junction, told The Madisonville Messenger that the initial plan was to construct and sell five-unit condominiums. Ruby Concrete’s former residential property at the junction of Oates and Dempsey was converted into condominiums and sold last year.
In the next phase of construction, the larger, industrial portion of the site will be developed. The original proposal called for single-family homes, mixed residential, retail, and commercial space, a boutique hotel, a 7,500-square-foot office structure, a warehouse, and a plaza, park, and common area.
The Ruby Junction property, which was once entirely owned by Ruby Concrete Company, is one of Madisonville’s earliest industrial landmarks. John Ruby founded the corporation in 1869 as the Ruby Lumber corporation, which eventually owned stores in multiple locations, including Madisonville and Providence.
The company’s concrete division began in the 1940s and endured until March 2019, with the majority of its existence spent in what is now Ruby Junction. A few years before the closure, the manufacturing portion of the operation transferred to a new location on Whittington Drive, while the maintenance office, retail location, and sand crusher remained at the Ruby Junction property.
Late in 2019, Wright Concrete acquired the company from Pikeville and resumed operations on Whittington Drive under the name Ruby Wright Concrete.
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