Fish Story

The Millers of Colfax

by Scott Robey



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 12/27/2002

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 192
ISBN : 9781403370778

About the Book

If the retail mantra “location, location, location” is true, then the story of Miller’s Restaurant is an incongruous one. When James L. Miller and his wife, Mary Ellen, purchased a grimy beer joint that was fraught with rats, cockroaches and assorted local derelicts their dream was modest. They just wanted to clean the place up and turn into a nice little family restaurant. Tucked away in the cornfields of Clinton County, Indiana the only thing close to the town of Colfax was the ground.

After cleaning up what became Miller’s Restaurant and having their destiny altered due to a visit by the Indiana Department of the Treasury, the Millers launched a menu that created a craving that lured over 5,000,000 people to Colfax during their ownership of the business. That the primary attraction was fried catfish and onion rings is itself illogical but attract people they did. From the rich and famous to the farmers and factory workers of the surrounding area, Miller’s became a dining establishment where the wait for a table could last up to two hours. Yet, people were willing to endure the wait to satisfy their cravings. Cravings so intense that some were unwilling to evacuate the restaurant during a 1980 fire until they were served their food.

Fish Story: The Millers of Colfax is the story of how the Miller families worked to make their dreams come true and how they endeared themselves to legions of loyal customers. The story is complete; from the moment Mary Ellen Miller watched an attempted murder occur outside the business her husband had just purchased, to the sale of the restaurant to outside interests in 1995, to the destruction of the property in December 2000 at the hands of an arsonist.

Fish Story: The Millers of Colfax is about people. The Miller family, its cadre of loyal and hard working employees, the residents of Colfax, Indiana and the tens of thousands of customers who frequented Miller’s. It’s a story about building a business in a small town that may never be repeated, but it is a story that could be used as a blueprint for those willing to make the attempt.

About the Author

Scott Robey is a native of Colfax, Indiana. He has spent most of his professional career in advertising and public relations writing ads, radio and television commercials and feature stories, attempting to make his clients appear better than they actually were. He has worked as an independent marketing services consultant since 1996.

As was the case with many teenage boys growing up in Colfax, Robey once worked as a bus boy at Miller’s Restaurant and has been a close friend of the Miller family for nearly fifty years. He lives in Lafayette, Indiana with his beautiful wife of thirty-four years, Susan.