Derby Weekend in Midway

Howard Rouse, party guest, Honeywood Rouse and Howard's sister Dora Lisle, 1963

Howard Rouse, party guest, Honeywood Rouse and Howard's sister Dora Lisle, 1963

Honeywood, the restaurant, is the namesake of Honeywood Parrish Rouse of Midway, who had a reputation for Kentucky hospitality. We will be sharing stories of Honeywood’s life and time, so you’ll know why Ouita Michel created a restaurant with this Kentuckian’s spirit in mind.

Though Honeywood’s husband, Howard, had a lifelong love of Thoroughbred horses as a breeder and owner of the horses he raised and raced, he never ran a horse in the Kentucky Derby. But Derby time at Honeywood and Howard’s house in Midway was an epic event. They hosted visitors and served mint juleps and bloody marys (made with Honeywood’s homemade tomato juice). King Ranch beef was always on the menu at the house party for friends and family who stayed with the Rouses (Howard managed King Ranch). The pinnacle of the weekend was, of course, the classic race in Louisville, enjoyed from the King Ranch’s box at Churchill Downs. The morning after, Honeywood always fixed a breakfast of fried fish, grits (cut cold in finger-size sticks and lightly fried), stewed tomatoes, toast, fried eggs and bacon. Coffee and juice — virgin or not — got everyone up and going before Derby weekend came to a close.
— Bob Rouse, Amy Rouse Perry and Kay Rouse Lark, Honeywood’s grandchildren

While Howard Rouse did not own any Derby horses, he did have a few winners, including Winter Street, who won a Garden State Park (N.J.) race in 1967. The horse was named after the main road through Midway, U.S. 62, or Winter Street, where he and Honeywood lived. Howard is not in the picture above, because he usually shunned the winner's circle.

While Howard Rouse did not own any Derby horses, he did have a few winners, including Winter Street, who won a Garden State Park (N.J.) race in 1967. The horse was named after the main road through Midway, U.S. 62, or Winter Street, where he and Honeywood lived. Howard is not in the picture above, because he usually shunned the winner's circle.