Bringing Diners Local History and a New Twist on Old Favorites
Photos by Jamie Alexander
Windy Hollow Biscuit House held a soft opening Mother’s Day weekend in Wesleyan Park Plaza, and since opening, Evelyn “Rooster” Miller said there has been a steady flow of traffic at one of Owensboro’s newest establishments.
Miller is not new to the restaurant business. Her uncle Tom owned Windy Hollow Restaurant and campgrounds, and when the restaurant burned in the early 1970s, her father Hal joined Tom. Tom died a couple of years later, and Miller said she grew up going to work with her dad.
“I was interested in what Hal was interested in,” she said.
When the restaurant burned again in 2006, Hal relocated to 8260 Kentucky Highway 81 and began serving a breakfast buffet only on Sunday mornings. The restaurant on Highway 81 houses much of the WWII and Western cowboy memorabilia that Hal was famous for collecting. In fact, in 2016 the restaurant was featured on the History Channel’s “American Pickers.”
Miller and her daughter Hallie, who lives in Florida, talked about Orlando’s food truck and breakfast options and bringing something similar to Owensboro.
“Those are the fastest-growing segments of the restaurant business,” Miller said.
Miller, who worked as the director of the Red Cross until December of 2020, and also ran Windy Hollow Speedway until the fall of 2021, knew she needed something more to do besides the Sunday buffet.
The Biscuit House occupies a bigger space than Miller and Hallie originally intended, but they have several ideas on how to fill it and open it to the community. Miller said they can seat about 140, the same as Windy Hollow Restaurant, but there is more open space at the Biscuit House.
Miller originally thought she would hang art on the Windy Hollow Biscuit House walls, but then she went through the barn where more memorabilia was stored, and they decided to use it instead. Included are original menus from Windy Hollow, price boards and even original essays Hallie wrote about her grandfather when she was in school.
All of the items hold special significance to Miller, who continues to honor her late parents.
In fact, there is a childhood painting of her mother, Deanna, hanging by the cash register – almost looking over the cashier’s shoulder.
The country store at the front of the restaurant is also “two times bigger” than Miller intended, and it offers customers various items to browse and purchase while there. Miller said they have a small shelf of items to sell at the other restaurant and people have enjoyed that, so they decided to incorporate more merchandise at the Biscuit House.
The menu items are different than other local restaurants. The mother-daughter duo has worked with their chef to create “whole meals on a biscuit,” but Miller said most people still order the plated biscuits and gravy.
“Most everything is made from scratch,” Miller said. “We have been making changes to the menu and will continue to make changes until we hit on the formula everyone likes.”
With names paying homage to family members, like the “Hey, Scrapper” which starts with a biscuit topped with a fried chicken breast, apples and sausage gravy, or the “Hallie’s Comet,” which features scrambled eggs, bacon and apples, customers are able to experience combinations previously not imagined when considering biscuits.
Friday through Sunday Windy Hollow Biscuit House is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., but every other Tuesday night, WBIO radio hosts “Let’s Talk About Racing” and they serve a limited menu from 5 to 8 p.m. while interviews with local racers are broadcast for the live show.
“Regular folk come during this time to experience it as well as the local racing [community],” Miller said.
Diners will find meatloaf, southern smothered pork chop or even breakfast for dinner as some of the menu offerings on Tuesdays.
The space is also available to rent for larger parties.
Miller credits her daughter with being instrumental in getting the restaurant open and has enjoyed working with her to this point.
“All of the stuff on the walls makes it feel like home, but it’s different,” Miller said. “I hope people enjoy it – the atmosphere, memorabilia and food – as much as we have getting to this point.”