You could hear the buzz before you could smell the smoke from the ribs cooking in the open fire pit.

When it was announced last year that Walt’s Hitching Post, one of the iconic restaurants in Northern Kentucky, was going to reopen, cheers could be heard throughout the Tristate.

The history of Walt’s begins with Walt Ballinger in 1942. He sold the restaurant to Bill Melton in 1958 and the family ran it until 2010. Last year, Bronson Trebbi and Donny Arnsperger of Vintage Supper Company LLC struck a deal to run the rustic building at the corner of Madison Pike and Kyles Lane in Fort Wright, and it reopened in April.

Nostalgia might bring people back once, but the new managers know they need to duplicate, or even improve, the menu and ambiance at Walt’s. Chef Ryan Terry is off to a good start with the original recipes that include a rack of ribs with signature sauce for $24 (a half rack is $14) and steaks, including a filet, strip and ribeye. For those who prefer seafood, Walt’s offers sea scallops, halibut, salmon and shrimp entrees.

Whether it’s memories of meals shared with family, cocktails sipped at the renovated bar or the horse racing memorabilia that decorates the rooms, Walt’s is ready to welcome back its regulars and initiate a new generation of customers.

3300 Madison Pike, Fort Wright. (859) 360-2222 or