'A Seedling Of An Idea Grows Into A Tree Of A Restaurant'
by Jeff Bivona, ScrubOaks Manager
Eating is an essential component of Holtsclaw gatherings. Whether it's a major Holiday, a birthday, or post-soccer practice meal, you will always find food, family, and fellowship. Usually in equal measure. So it was that Tim Holtsclaw found himself in early March of 2009 sitting on his back deck at the family cook-out with his son-in-law, Steve Marshburn. Having tossed around the notion of being involved in the restaurant business for years, more as "bucket-list" discussion than anything of real substance, the two had become aware of local restaurant that had closed, and were now presented an opportunity to do more than just "talk." What started as an attempt to purchase some of the equipment with the idea of then reselling it piecemeal for profit, quickly steamrolled into a full fledged foray into the food and beverage industry. In the span of two very short months, staff was hired, the restaurant was cleaned and remodeled, agreements were made with all the appropriate vendors, and certain additional investors secured to assist in getting all the initial capital requirements. About the only thing left to do was come up with a name!
Having received suggestions from a large number of people (both solicited and not!) nothing stood out. Reluctant to pick a standard sort of name (The North Side Grill, Ramsey St. Restaurant, etc.), and never entertaining the idea of a "Tim's Place", or "Holtsclaws," Tim searched for a unique word or phrase that would stand out. As is so often the case, inspiration struck while on the golf course (Pretty sure Eli Whitney was on the back nine when the idea of the cotton gin came to him. Google it.). Finishing his round at KGGCC and standing in the 18th fairway, he looked up at the large tree sitting to the left of the green and, while being struck by its beauty against the backdrop of an orange sunset sky, Tim realized he had found his name! As Thoreau said "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see", and where others just saw bark and leaves, Tim saw a unique name that also served as an allegory with its process of awakening from winter slumber to bursting with a vibrant red canopy symbolizing a restaurant's cycle of struggle-success-struggle-success, etc. After a little convincing, his wife Gwen was on board with the name and on June 4, 2009 Scrub Oaks hung out its shingle becoming the newest kid on the Ramsey Street block!
Almost five years later things have changed quite considerably. The acquisition of a salad cooler has allowed us to offer items not available when ScrubOaks first opened, Likewise we have doubled the number of fryers, knocked out walls to increase both storage space and seating for customers, and tripled the number of menu options (a good looking/muscular bartending staff has remained consistent throughout). Wine dinners, trivia, live music, and expanded Weekend features are all now regular parts of the Scrub Oaks repertoire, with new ideas continually being explored. For example, we were honored recently to have been selected to provide dinner for Bill Cosby the evening he performed at the Crown Coliseum and are very interested in doing similar things with other celebrities, so if you know any, let them know!
That's the story. Please enjoy our ScrubOaks blogs found under "The Talk" as we dive deeper into the Scrubs Oak story and those who make it what it is, in particular the life-blood of the operation: Gwen! Without her dedication and tireless (and I do mean tireless!) efforts the restaurant would be a shell of itself...more on that later. Thanks for indulging us and we hope you'll continue reading (all feedback is welcome)!
"I was at this restaurant. The sign said 'Breakfast Anytime.' So I ordered French Toast in the Renaissance" -Steven Wright