Business Inspired by Musical Legends
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By Marlana Smith
Blake and Jackie Totten’s journey to bring a Nashville-style Honky Tonk to Shelby County, began in 2021, after purchasing the building located at 117 South Center Street in Shelbina. Legend’s Honky-Tonk recently opened.
“As I started building and my ideas started getting bigger and bigger, it really turned out, there is a bunch of country legends in here, new and old, so let’s just call it ‘Legends,’ said Blake.
Blake has been playing music since he was three years old.
“Music means everything to me,” said Blake. “Some people are master craftsmen at whatever it is they do. That was my thing with music.”
Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton are some of Blake’s favorites.
Anything from 90s Jock Jams to 80s Journey, to the 50s and 60s, to rap, Blake loves it.
Blake expressed he has worked with many talented musicians over the years.
“I thought, why can’t I do something where I can get all these talented musicians that I have worked with and get them together and do something fun in the community,” said Totten.
Blake said something like this would be better in a bigger town but knew it would be successful and wanted to do something for the community.
“People here are bored and need entertainment, they want it. They want non-smoking and they want something to do. They want something where they don’t have to drive far, even as far as Macon or Hannibal,” said Blake.
“It is important to grow businesses and it’s important to grow businesses in small, dying down towns. If my generation doesn’t do it or begin to, who else is going to do it?”
Blake thoroughly enjoys classic country music. He thought it would be cool to take names of songs and turn them into drinks or food.
A couple of weeks ago, Legend’s served a drink called ‘Amarillo by Morning.’
“I hope it can bring something different, something new and some entertainment,” said Totten, “I hope it can be a meeting place for some people.”
Blake will perform some.
Within the next couple of weeks, the food menu will begin. It will be appetizers at first.
“As we continue to grow our menu will get bigger and bigger. For me, honestly, it’s all about starting slow and small. I don’t want to go into full force, and something not work.
In the future, Legend’s will be doing open mics with local musicians. Bingo and Trivia will be enjoyed as well as maybe a stand-up comedian in the future. The building has been rented for other events, such as baby showers, bridal showers, club meetings, etc.
“I want the community to know this is just about bringing a business to them as it is fulfilling my dream. I have been planning this for seven years and I just want something for my community,” Blake expressed.
Legend’s Honky-Tonk is open Thursday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Blake said his hours will extend as the business grows.
Upcoming events can be viewed on their Facebook page.