Located at the corner of Broadway Street and Market House Square is one of Downtown Paducah’s most iconic buildings. Built in the 1800's and most commonly referred to as the Cohen building, it has been a home to multiple businesses and a long line of Cohen family members up until the death of Stella Cohen in 1980.
The Cohen family moved to Paducah in 1884. Ike and Anna Cohen ran a successful store on the first floor selling men’s and women’s clothing. They had 4 children; daughters Stella and Goldie and sons Carl and Rubin. Rubin tragically died during adolescence.
Stella married Ben Peine - a jeweler who owned a store in Houston, TX where he and Stella lived for most of their adult life. They eventually retired to Paducah and lived on the 3rd floor of the Cohen building. Stella’s mother Anna and sister Goldie were living on the 2nd floor. Anna died in March 1958. Ben became ill and died on Christmas Eve 1961.
Stella’s brother Carl operated the liquor store downstairs next to the clothing business. He was robbed one night and severely beaten. He later died in October 1968.
Goldie was a talented concert pianist until a tragic accident where she was drug by a carriage and broke her back. She became a recluse and was known to play her piano at odd hours of the night; the music floating out of the windows and enveloping the quiet streets of Paducah. Goldie died in February 1974.
In her final years, Stella preferred to have less and less contact with the outside world. She was eventually found dead on July 16, 1980. The official cause of death was a heart attack, though many think malnutrition may have played a part in her demise.
Widely regarded as one of the most haunted buildings in Western Kentucky, Stella and her family still have a presence here in the Restaurant.