New restaurant adds to choices

Angela L. Gorter and Angela L. Gorter

It’s time to bring some home-cooked meals into Bowling Green. This is the reasoning of father and son duo, Michael Hailey Sr. and Michael Hailey Jr.

Both alumni of the University, the Haileys’ want to give back to the community a little piece of their family.

“The restaurant is going to be about family, it was built on family and we want to promote a family-oriented environment for the Bowling Green community,” Hailey Jr. said.

Ebony’s Ribs, Chicken and Seafood will open tomorrow to a crowd of excited patrons.

“I’ve been getting hounded; people are ready for something different,” he said.

Ebony’s will offer home-style southern food that is sure to be reminiscent of mom’s. The menu will contain items such as fried and barbequed chicken, catfish, shrimp, whiting and perch. Hailey Sr. will provide the slow-cooked ribs in his own “Memphis-type” sauce.

“The ribs are just something you learn how to do,” he said.

Also, the Haileys will be making-to-order corned beef, Polish Boys, sweet potato pies and macaroni and cheese, just to name a few.

The original concept for Ebony’s begun in the late 1970s when Hailey Sr. and his father dreamed of opening a family-style restaurant in Bowling Green. However, the dream was lost after Hailey Sr.’s father past away right before they began planning.

“I lost interest in it. Between my mother and father, we were the only ones who know about it [the restaurant plans],” he said.

So it wasn’t until after his son graduated from the University in the summer of 2003, that he began to dream again.

After years of cooking on-campus with friends and his father, Hailey Jr. decided it was time to set up shop with his dad.

“I didn’t think about it until my son came up to me. He never knew that it was a dream of mine,” Hailey Sr. said.

Once again, the Hailey team embarked on setting up an establishment that would open its doors to the community and campus of Bowling Green.

A year later, Ebony’s, named after Hailey Sr.’s 12-year-old daughter, is opening.

In addition to promoting family, the restaurant hopes to promote diversity through the food they offer.

“We saw that there was a pretty good market for it,” Hailey Sr. said. Though he said that Bowling Green has a diverse food market, he wanted to have a restaurant that was like that in his hometown of Cleveland.

“We wanted to bring in the food and culture,” Hailey Jr. said. “Maybe the University might benefit from us being there.”

The two have no doubt their business will flourish in the weeks ahead.

“If food is good, people will enjoy it. I think it will be a pleasant change from a hamburgers and pizza — taste buds are not prejudice,” Hailey Sr. said.

He even credits the widening of Wooster Street to their upcoming profits.

“I believe they widened the street just for us,” he said.

Though all in all, father and son are thankful they can give something back to the community that has fostered several of their family members’ education.

“I’ve met a lot of different kinds of people while I’ve been here,” Hailey Jr. said. “There’s no doubt that it is going to be a success.”