Hidden Lexington: Tolly Ho

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Tolly Ho has been open for 43 years and counting. The restaurant has been at its new and current location, 606 South Broadway since May 2011. Before that most people who know of the restaurant, have memories of Tolly Ho on South Limestone. Tolly Ho use to be where E campus is now, between Pazzo’s and Hugh Jass.

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The restaurant is known well to the college crowd at UK for several reasons. Its open 24/7, the food is greasy, cheap and tastes great. Depending on what one wants they can get enough to fill their hunger for $5-$15. One can get anything from breakfast to dinner any time of the day. There are arcade games located in the dinning area for one to enjoy while they wait on their food. New comers are welcomed with the ring of a bell and saying that goes like….”can I have everyone’s attention please, I would like everyone to help me welcome so and so our ho virgin.” Tolly Ho appeal’s to the older crowd as well offering discounts for Fireman, Policeman and UK employees.

Also the Ho appeals to, “the alumni, the people that remember what it was like when they were in school. We try to keep Tolly Ho the same for that reason,” Roy Milling, owner of Tolly Ho said.

Tolly Ho gets regular visits from UK athletes as well. Even they cant resist the late night munchies this place has to offer. They even take time to take photos with fans, below from left to right one can see Doron Lamb, John Wall, Stacey Poole and Terrence Jones with three fans.

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If three word could be used to describe the business of Tolly Ho, “it would be quality, friendliness and consistency” Roy Milling said.

Since the restaurant has moved from South Limestone to South Broadway business has increased quite a bit. The parking has gone from 3 spaces to well over 20 now. helping bring in even more of the lunch crowd who couldn’t get there before. As well the dining hall has grown tremendously.The Ho started with 9 employees when Mr. Milling bought the Ho 23 years ago and now has over 40 employees today. Obviously the Ho has been very successful over the years in expanding.

“Where just doing what your suppose to do serve good, quality food for a cheap price,” Milling said.

“We hire people who are hard working, and  deserve a chance, who deserve a better job than what they get offered a lot of times,” Aaron Milling son of Roy milling said.

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Roy says when he first started the business he would work 70-100 hours per week. Now with the bigger staff he cooks about 25 hours a week and does booking, ordering, processing etc another 30 hours a week. Roy works along side his wife Sandra many times as well. His son Aaron who is now 24 has worked at the Ho since a young age along side his brother, Mathew 26, who still currently works there. In fact the two have two sisters who work there too, who are in their 30’s, Amanda and Jennifer. The Ho has become a family restaurant and is a huge part of UK for the students. I believe one day the the HO will be a huge part of Lexington.

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