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Kennedy’s Wildcat Den closes on UK campus


After nearly 70 years of business, Kennedy’s Wildcat Den will close when the current UK semester ends.

According to general manager Carol Kennedy Behr, daughter of founder Joe Kennedy, “sales have gone down, down, down,” and the store just can’t keep up with online textbook and merchandise purchases any longer.

In an interview with Tom Eblen of the Herald-Leader, Behr said all remaining merchandise will be 40% until doors officially close.

Kennedy’s announced its closing in an email to customers Sunday night, just before final-exam week. Merchandise in the store except textbooks will be marked 40 percent off, Behr said. Rented books must be returned by Dec. 16 and gift cards used by Dec. 22, when the store’s doors close for good. Kennedy’s will continue selling fan merchandise online for a while at Wildcatden.com.

The University of Kentucky will be opening their new $175-million student center this Spring, where the official UK Bookstore will open up.

Eblen reports the most likely replacement for the lot Kennedy’s stands on now will be an expansion of the parking garage right next door.

UK had been trying to acquire the Kennedy’s property for years, Behr said. Plans for the site are unclear, although expansion of UK’s adjacent parking garage seems likely.

End of an era…

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

17 responses to “Kennedy’s Wildcat Den closes on UK campus”

  1. BigBlueBass

    How ironic…. posted on the site that takes Kennedy’s & Fan Outfitters $$$$$$$…. hey pot meet Kettle

    1. Mathlete

      A dozen people just lost their jobs. Show a little class.

  2. rlburd2

    Boom goes the dynamite?

    1. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      Not funny dude. Ppl just lost their 70 year old family owned business. Also, what Mathlete said above.

  3. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

    This is sad. I remember ordering gear and souvenirs from them back in the 80s. I loved getting their brochures in the mail to see what was new since I live out of state and can’t get UK gear in the store here.

  4. KayutsBy90

    Brick and mortar just doesn’t make sense anymore. I can pay significantly less for textbooks and gear online.

    1. katmandue2you

      Yeah and reading the newspaper online is better than reading an actual newspaper…..my ass!

    2. JoeMoney333

      What’s a newspaper?

  5. Booby Petrino

    Meh, part of me feels bad for a local store to shut down but the other part of me says when I was in college they way overcharged me for books, so whatever.

    1. Mathlete

      Every bookstore overcharged you for textbooks. No one in human history has ever written a book worth $300

    2. Sentient Third Eye

      Textbooks are a ripoff anyway, and the real thieves are not the bookstore. The thievery is actually a collusion between the professor and the publisher. The prof requires a certain book and then gets a kickback from the publisher, who jacks up the price because they have a captive audience. It gets even more scandalous when the prof actually wrote the book himself, which happens more often than you might think. But generally the bookseller, be it a traditional bookstore or an online seller, still just gets their standard markup. They are not part of the collusion.

  6. serdi

    Sad day for me…I go back with Kennedy’s into the 60s. They were THE place in town to get UK gear. There only competition and it paled to them was Wallace’s which was up a half a block on the same side of the street. My first major purchase off my paper route when I was 12 years old was at Kennedy’s for all of the SEC school pennants and a U of K teeshirt. That current day parking garage next to them was a tobacco warehouse…nothing better than a cold fall morning walk down that block and the smell of tobacco aging in that warehouse. Thank you Joe Kennedy and family.

  7. Cincy Cayt

    Makes me sort of sad, but both of my dorms are already long gone…not to mention K Lair and plenty other campus staples when I graduated less than a decade ago.

    1. Ukgrad2006

      yes, RIP K Lair!!!

      All Kennedy’s needed was a bigger parking lot. RIP

    2. Mathlete

      Semi-good news! Old K-Lair is gone, but new K-Lair is on the ground floor of the dorm where Haggin Hall used to be.

      I graduated a decade ago too, and now when I walk through campus I’m looking around like “where am I? There’s the library, but where’s fraternity row? Or the international dorms? Where’s Haggin/Donovan? When did they get a Taco Bell on campus???”

  8. Ukgrad2006

    A lot of changes just in the past 3-4 years. The new K-Lair is nothing like the original.

    International dorms/ “Frat Lot” totally gone and replaced by brand new dorms that took over Kirwin/ Blanding.

    As for Taco Bell… There’s also now a Steak N’ Shake on campus. Freshman 15 just took on a whole new meaning! LOL

  9. Ridge Runner

    Many memories for sure….