The comfortable restaurant that encourages you to kick up your boots and enjoy a mouth-watering steak has experienced phenomenal success since its launch 10 years ago when CUB approved a construction loan and provided financing solutions to the future owners.
“As a community bank, we are always on the lookout for entrepreneurs with great ideas and a sound business plan,” says Kim Dodson, CUB Vice President and Manager of Treasury Services. “We are willing to take a risk on local business owners because that’s part of our community mission.”
Cattleman’s – known for its amazing salad bar with homemade broccoli salad, sun-kissed vegetables and all the fixin’s – opened its first restaurant at the exit off of I-64 in Shelbyville. The venture has now expanded to seven restaurants statewide, including one on Hurstbourne Lane in Louisville.
Bill Hisle and his nephew, Stuart Meredith, fit like a hand in glove as Cattleman’s owners. Bill, gregarious and friendly, is the consummate marketer and greeter. While Stuart, serious and operations-oriented, keeps the kitchen running smoothly.
“Those little communities around Kentucky really want a steakhouse,” Hisle says. “A place to go to have a great meal. We’re all about quality and we don’t cut corners. We offer aged angus beef and all natural chicken. We added the large salad bar, and that’s what makes the difference.”
Meredith says lots of CUB employees come to Cattleman’s to enjoy a meal. “Their steaks are out of this world,” Dodson adds.
CUB values its authentic relationships with its commercial lending clients, many of whom become friends over time.
“Bill and Stuart are salt-of-the-earth type people,” says Steve Hornback, Vice President of Commercial and Agricultural Lending at CUB. “They are johnny-on-the-spot with their financial information and it is always highly detailed.”
CUB’s roots in its community are deep and wide. Hornback has actually known Hisle for more than 40 years because in their youth, they both had after-school jobs working on Hornback’s dad’s farm.
“When Bill was a teenager he would come out and work by helping with the tobacco and hay,” says Hornback. “My dad always taught us that it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep. Bill and Stuart count their pennies and it really adds up.”
Dodson said that it is CUB’s willingness to look at the past performance of individual business owners when making lending decisions that sets the bank apart.
“So often bigger banks make lending decisions based on data-crunching and industry trends,” Dodson says. “We get to know our customers as people. We sit down with them and review their past financial performance. We get to know their character. We make decisions based on the person, not just data.”
CUB long ago earned Hisle’s trust and loyalty.
“CUB helped us early on when nobody else would,” says Hisle, who had earlier owned Bistro 535 restaurant in Shelbyville. “Back then, we were just a mom-and-pop shop. It’s the personal relationships that make all the difference. CUB gives us such great service. I can just walk in there and tell them what I need and they respond right away. They make banking easy.”
Because of Cattleman’s excellent service and scale – restaurants are roughly 6,000-square-feet and seat 215 diners – it is often mistaken for a national chain by customers.
“Everybody thinks it’s a national brand, but we’re just local. A couple of Kentucky boys,” says Hisle. “We offer great steaks, great service, and a great salad bar.”
Dodson says she sees similarities between the restaurant and bank. “I think because they’re a family-owned business and we’re a locally owned bank, we see a lot of similarities between Cattleman’s and CUB. Our values are similar and we both have a commitment to the community. At CUB, we go out and take a chance on local businesses.”
For more information about CUB, click here.