Wooded Hills Dream Brings Employment for 25 to Harrisburg in 2013

November 25, 2013

From the time that Scott Stout began working at Memories Restaurant at age 15, he knew he wanted to open a restaurant.  In September 2012, while working in the nursing home industry, he approached Lori Cox, director of the Workforce & Illinois Small Business Development Center (WISBDC) at Southeastern Illinois College and told her about his idea for a restaurant. 

He knew of a building that had been abandoned for several years that he wanted to use for his restaurant.  Stout wanted to revitalize the downtown area, while making the idea of owning his own restaurant become a reality. The WISBDC helped with his business plan, as well as gathered resources for equipment needed and financing options.  Stout moved quickly -- the building was stripped down to the four main walls, and the rebuilding began. 

On March 16, 2013, Wooded Hills Bar & Grill opened and has been thriving ever since.  The restaurant currently employs 25 full and part-time employees.  It offers specials each day, as well as a full service bar and has live bands on Saturday nights.  There are also special event nights during football season and other major sporting events.  Recently, a Saturday and Sunday breakfast buffet was added.  Wooded Hills Bar & Grill also has catering services available.

Stout stated, “The WISBDC was instrumental in finding resources to open the restaurant that had been a dream of mine and my brother, Shawn.  I encourage anyone that is considering opening a business to contact the staff at the WISBDC for their guidance.”

Wooded Hills Bar & Grill is located at 218 E. Poplar St. in Harrisburg.  Their Facebook page is

The Workforce & Illinois Small Business Development Center is designed to assist owners and managers of small businesses or anyone wanting to start a business. Many of the services of the Center are available at no charge. Call (618) 252-5001 to learn about upcoming events and training opportunities.


Submitted by Debbie Hadfield, WISBDC