The return of Doc and Brutie
Denny "Doc" Hougham and George "Brutie" Mills, owners of Doc and Bruties Pizza and Bar-B-Que, faced an uncertain future just months ago.
The restaurant partners had just two days left on their lease at a Basehor Town Square site, Kansas Highway 24/40 and 155th Street, and would not be renewing.
It had become apparent to the two men, that staying at the Town Square wasn't a viable option, they said.
"We just didn't feel it was feasible for a mom and pop shop," Mills said.
But finding a new space was proving difficult.
"We had looked all over, Tonganoxie, Shawnee," Mills said. "We wanted to stay here, but locations were few and far between."
Leaving Basehor, a town their restaurant served for almost eight years, was a decision the two men didn't relish.
"We had already started putting our stuff in storage," Hougham said.
But as is the nature of business sometimes, a solution found the two restaurateurs, or more accurately, walked through the front door.
"Dan Foy (a local developer) came in and said 'I want you to rent (my space)" Mills said.
Foy is revitalizing the space that once housed the Cabinet Shop of Basehor at 2806 N. 155th St. The building was destroyed by fire in May 2001, but Foy has rebuilt the area.
The building will house a refurbished, improved, larger version of the Doc and Bruties restaurant when it reopens, possibly in early March.
And the Hougham and Mills tandem couldn't be happier with their new space.
"It's going to be a whole different ball game than before," Hougham said.
"Quite honestly, I'd like to retire out of here," Mills added.The new, larger space will give the restaurant more opportunities, such as expanding its menu to include a limited breakfast, and adding things like catfish and chicken on certain nights.
Plus, a larger, 1,000 square foot kitchen will allow Doc and Bruties to expand on the catering side of the business.
But not everything will change. Holdovers such as delivery, occasional live music and weekly specials will still be offered, they said.
"We've got room here we've never had before," Mills said, citing an increase in square footage from 2,200 square feet at the old site to the new 5,000 square foot space they now occupy.
The new site will also include rooms for private banquets and an arcade.