The construction process, plan to plate

By Doug Mullins

Editor’s note: Doug Mullins joined Ouita Michel’s Family of Restaurants in 2014 as director of operations, to help Ouita with maintaining her growing restaurant group. Doug has more than 25 years of experience as a restaurant owner, operator and consultant. Here he shares his perspective on opening Honeywood.

Construction: Building a new restaurant from the ground up is in many ways like planting a garden. You start with a plan, carefully drawn out with an eye toward utilizing the allotted space for the best results. In the beginning, there is only the bare ground that requires shaping. The seeds are planted, but you don’t see much for a while.

Slowly things start to take shape as the structure emerges. The framework is starting to become apparent. With hard work and plenty of attention the true form begins to show itself. You can start to imagine the finished product, and envision the great food that can be produced.

The final step is preparing for the harvest. An abundant crop means that you will need skilled hands to gather the bounty so that it can be enjoyed by many.

What does he like best about Honeywood? I appreciate the care that was taken in designing a restaurant that flows operationally and is appealing to guests. Of course, as a former bar owner, my favorite feature is the beautiful reclaimed wood bar. With only local beers on draft, an outstanding Bourbon selection, and best-in-class cocktails being served in a casually elegant setting, the bar is a can’t-miss.

Menu-wise, Honeywood represents the best possible combination of farm to table sourcing and culinary attention to detail. There are no compromises on the Honeywood menu. I’m in love with the Florida Fishing Cottage entree, but I'm a sucker for the great Black Hawk steak.

On his job: I enjoy working for Ouita because she is equally interested in taking care of her guests, her employees, the community and the environment.

Doug Mullins and his wife, Janet, live in Scott County just outside Midway.